Powerline symbols?

Kent Karlsson kent.b.karlsson at bahnhof.se
Sat Oct 16 11:27:09 CDT 2021

> 15 okt. 2021 kl. 22:09 skrev John W Kennedy via Unicode <unicode at corp.unicode.org>:
>> On Oct 15, 2021, at 1:50 PM, Peter Constable via Unicode <unicode at corp.unicode.org <mailto:unicode at corp.unicode.org>> wrote:
>> From: Unicode <unicode-bounces at corp.unicode.org <mailto:unicode-bounces at corp.unicode.org>> on behalf of Kent Karlsson via Unicode <unicode at corp.unicode.org <mailto:unicode at corp.unicode.org>>
>> Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 10:39 AM
>> >No, no, no. It is normal practice to copy text from a terminal emulator window to something else…
>> Prompts, yes. 
>> But do the terminals have symbols in UI affordances with symbols that can’t be selected and copied as text? No, to those.
> Since you ask, line 25 on the IBM 3278-2 and other below-the-bottom lines on its many descendants. (The previous 3277 had three solid rectangles to the right of the right margin.)

A little perplexed here. We were, or a t least I thought we were, talking about "selected and copied as text” (a.k.a. copy-(and-paste)).

For the physical devices called ”terminals”, that is just about impossible, since those basically became museum pieces before cut-and-paste was invented… (and cut-and-paste would not be practical for them anyway).

For terminal emulators, which are commonly used today, for Linux and other Unix-like systems like MacOSX, as well as Windows (well the NT-based ones (which includes current Windows systems), perhaps not the since long dead DOS-based ones), cut-and-paste of text, both from the terminal emulator to such things as Word documents (for notes), emails, and to ”chat” applications, as well as to a terminal emulator (usually a command, but often other text as well, e.g. when entering text to a terminal based text editor) from a Word document, Notepad++ document, email, or from a chat. That is NORMAL EVERYDAY PRACTICE.

I cannot tell how many it is that used terminal emulators for modern up-to-date systems, but I would guess somewhere in the range of millions. The Powerline symbols are mostly intended for terminal emulators running bash (as login shell), and the ”branch” symbol is intended for bash prompts that include git status indication; quite popular for those of us that use git. I often get such a prompt as default when I log in to certain systems, prompts designed by someone else… Though not yet using the Powerline symbols.

But people make terminal emulators for all sorts of old things, not just up-to-date Linux/etc. Apparently there are terminal emulators also for IBM 3278, but I’m not familiar with those. If for some reason you cannot do ”selected and copy as text” for line 25, then you should report that as a bug to whoever made that terminal emulator.

/Kent K

If you don’t have easy access to a ”real” terminal emulator, there are online ones (with a very sandboxed environment; nobody wants you to go and hack their system...). Here is a list someone made: https://itsfoss.com/online-linux-terminals/. You can try some of then out, they have different properties/capabilities. Here’s a direct link to one: https://xtermjs.org/; it, like the ”real” ones (but often not the web ones) allow for copy-and-paste (to outside of this web based terminal emulator demo):

Unicode support                        And much more...                   │
 │   Supports CJK 語 and emoji ❤️

(Styling is not preserved in this copy-paste, unfortunately; I know of one terminal emulator that has some (imperfect) support for preserving styling when copy-pasting. There may be a few more, I haven’t done a survey.)


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