vi copy/paste - maybe a bit OT

Michael keybounce at
Thu Jul 4 18:55:58 UTC 2019

On 2019-07-04, at 3:03 AM, Richard L. Hamilton <rlhamil at> wrote:

> AFAIK, if your terminal display is restored after exiting vi, the terminal provides (and vi uses, via the smcup and rmcup terminfo strings) an alternate
> buffer, for full-screen use.  Ideally, that alternate buffer should NOT include any scroll back, so I think the behavior you describe might even be a bug.

This "Separate screen" behavior has always irked me. It means that as soon as I leave a curses-based display -- such as anything going through "less" as a pager -- such as man pages -- then I lose all the information I was looking at a moment ago.

The problem for me is always that switching to a termcap/terminfo setting that doesn't have this problem results in other settings being lost because it's too generic.

Right now, I use "TERM=ansi", because I cannot stand that "We'll clear your screen of the info you wanted now" behavior.
What's the best term setting to use for maximum abilities without losing that data, or is there some way to get that data back when you leave full-screen mode? (is there a second output buffer that can be switched between somehow?)

If it matters, this is for 10.9.5.

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