Manual Reference Pages - LIBTECLA (3)
libtecla - An interactive command-line input library.
Library Version Number
cc ... -ltecla -lcurses
The tecla library provides programs with interactive command
line editing facilities, similar to those of the unix tcsh
shell. In addition to simple command-line editing, it supports recall
of previously entered command lines, TAB completion of file names or
other tokens, and in-line wild-card expansion of filenames. The
internal functions which perform file-name completion and wild-card
expansion are also available externally for optional use by the
The various parts of the library are documented in the following man
tecla(7) - Use level documentation of the
command-line editing facilities
provided by gl_get_line().
gl_get_line(3) - The interactive line-input module.
gl_io_mode(3) - How to use gl_get_line() in an
incremental, non-blocking fashion.
cpl_complete_word(3) - The word completion module.
ef_expand_file(3) - The filename expansion module.
pca_lookup_file(3) - A directory-list based filename
lookup and completion module.
In addition there is one optional application distributed
with the library:
enhance(1) - Add command-line editing to third
If the library is compiled with -D_POSIX_C_SOURCE=199506L, reentrant
versions of as many functions as possible are used. This includes
using getpwuid_r() and getpwnam_r() instead of getpwuid() and
getpwnam() when looking up the home directories of specific users in
the password file (for ~user/ expansion), and readdir_r() instead of
readdir() for reading directory entries when doing filename
completion. The reentrant version of the library is usually called
libtecla_r.a instead of libtecla.a, so if only the latter is
available, it probably isnt the correct version to link with
Reentrant functions for iterating through the password file arent
available, so when the library is compiled to be reentrant, TAB
completion of incomplete usernames in ~username/ expressions is
disabled. This doesnt disable expansion of complete ~username
expressions, which can be done reentrantly, or expansion of the parts
of filenames that follow them, so this doesnt remove much
The terminfo functions setupterm(), tigetstr(), tigetnum() and tputs()
also arent reentrant, but very few programs will want to interact
with multiple terminals, so this shouldnt prevent this library from
being used in threaded programs.
LIBRARY VERSION NUMBER
The version number of the library can be queried using the following
void libtecla_version(int *major, int *minor, int *micro);
On return, this function records the three components of the libtecla
version number in *major, *minor, *micro. The formal
meaning of the three components is as follows.
major - Incrementing this number implies that a change has
been made to the librarys public interface, which
makes it binary incompatible with programs that
were linked with previous shared versions of the
minor - This number is incremented by one whenever
additional functionality, such as new functions or
modules, are added to the library.
micro - This is incremented whenever modifications to the
library are made which make no changes to the
public interface, but which fix bugs and/or improve
the behind-the-scenes implementation.
In Spanish, a "tecla" is the key of a keyboard. Since this library
centers on keyboard input, and given that I wrote much of the library
while working in Chile, this seemed like a suitable name.
libtecla.a - The tecla library.
libtecla.h - The tecla header file.
~/.teclarc - The tecla personal customization file.
gl_get_line(3), tecla(7), gl_io_mode(3), ef_expand_file(3),
cpl_complete_word(3), pca_lookup_file(3), enhance(1)
Martin Shepherd (email@example.com)
Markus Gyger - Lots of assistance, including help with
shared libraries, configuration information,
particularly for Solaris; modifications to
support C++ compilers, improvements for ksh
users, faster cursor motion, output
buffering, and changes to make gl_get_line()
Mike MacFaden - Suggestions, feedback and testing that led
to many of the major new functions that were
added in version 1.4.0.
Tim Eliseo - Many vi-mode bindings and fixes.
Visit the GSP FreeBSD Man Page Interface.
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