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Wow, didn't really expect you to read this far down. The latest iteration of the site is in open beta. It's a gentle open beta-- not in prime-time just yet. It's being hosted over at UpGuard (link) and you are more than welcome to give it a shot. Couple things:
Depending on the TERM, the terminfo version, ncurses version, etc.. you may be using a varied assortment of terminal escape codes. With this command you can easily find out exactly what is going on.. This is terminal escape zen!
( 2>&2 strace -f -F -e write -s 1000 sh -c 'echo -e "initc\nis2\ncnorm\nrmso\nsgr0" | tput -S' 2>&1 ) | grep -o '"\\[^"]*"' --color=always
Lets say you want to find out what you need to echo in order to get the text to blink..
echo -e "`tput blink`This will blink`tput sgr0` This wont"
Now you can use this function instead of calling tput (tput is much smarter for portable code because it works differently depending on the current TERM, and tput -T anyterm works too.) to turn that echo into a much faster executing code. tput queries files, opens files, etc.. but echo is very strait and narrow.
So now you can do this:
echo -e "\33[5mThis will blink\33(B\33[m This wont"
There are 5 alternatives - vote for the best!
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