FreeBSD Foundation Project: FreeBSD terminal layer

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced another project that they’re funding:

Ed Schouten has been awarded a grant to write a new console driver for the FreeBSD project. We are excited to support Ed in providing a more efficient and user friendly console driver.

This project will allow Ed to add an additional abstraction layer to the kernel. This new layer, the terminal layer will be a layer that sits between the TTY layer, the kernel console (cngetc, cnputc) and the actual console driver. Right now we have a terminal emulator (libteken) that is part of Syscons. This terminal emulator will be moved into this
terminal layer.

The advantage of having such a layer, is that the console driver itself does not have to care about any TTY semantics, streams of bytes, processing escape sequences, etc. It will just receive a set of character drawing, filling and copying actions. This should also make it easier to implement Unicode.

“During this project I’m going to continue the work I did with the TTY layer, by developing a new console driver for the FreeBSD kernel,”

said Ed Schouten, FreeBSD Developer.

“By moving towards a graphics mode console driver, it will be much easier to make the boot process look nice on desktop systems (i.e. PC-BSD). It will also make it possible to support the industry-standard Unicode character sets by default.”

This project will be completed by the end of December.

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