Panels are curses(3X) windows with the added feature of depth. Panel
functions allow the use of stacked windows and ensure the proper
portions of each window and the curses stdscr window are hidden or
displayed when panels are added, moved, modified or removed. The set
of currently visible panels is the stack of panels. The stdscr
window is beneath all panels, and is not considered part of the
A window is associated with every panel. The panel routines enable
you to create, move, hide, and show panels, as well as position a
panel at any desired location in the stack.
Panel routines are a functional layer added to curses(3X), make only
high-level curses calls, and work anywhere terminfo curses does.
bottom_panelbottom_panel(pan) puts panel pan at the bottom of all panels.
ceiling_panelceiling_panel(sp) acts like panel_below(NULL), for the given SCREENsp.
del_paneldel_panel(pan) removes the given panel pan from the stack and
deallocates the PANEL structure (but not its associated window).
ground_panelground_panel(sp) acts like panel_above(NULL), for the given SCREENsp.
hide_panelhide_panel(pan) removes the given panel pan from the panel stack and
thus hides it from view. The PANEL structure is not lost, merely
removed from the stack.
move_panelmove_panel(pan,starty,startx) moves the given panel pan's window so
that its upper-left corner is at starty, startx. It does not change
the position of the panel in the stack. Be sure to use this
function, not mvwin(3X), to move a panel window.
new_panelnew_panel(win) allocates a PANEL structure, associates it with win,
places the panel on the top of the stack (causes it to be
displayed above any other panel) and returns a pointer to the new
panel_abovepanel_above(pan) returns a pointer to the panel above pan. If the
panel argument is (PANEL *)0, it returns a pointer to the bottom
panel in the stack.
panel_belowpanel_below(pan) returns a pointer to the panel just below pan. If
the panel argument is (PANEL *)0, it returns a pointer to the top
panel in the stack.
panel_hiddenpanel_hidden(pan) returns TRUE if the panel pan is in the panel
stack, FALSE if it is not. If the panel is a null pointer, return
panel_userptrpanel_userptr(pan) returns the user pointer for a given panel pan.
panel_windowpanel_window(pan) returns a pointer to the window of the given panel
replace_panelreplace_panel(pan,window) replaces the current window of panel pan
with window This is useful, for example if you want to resize a
panel. In ncurses, you can call replace_panel to resize a panel
using a window resized with wresize(3X). It does not change the
position of the panel in the stack.
set_panel_userptrset_panel_userptr(pan,ptr) sets the panel's user pointer.
show_panelshow_panel(pan) makes a hidden panel visible by placing it on top of
the panels in the panel stack. See COMPATIBILITY below.
top_paneltop_panel(pan) puts the given visible panel pan on top of all panels
in the stack. See COMPATIBILITY below.
update_panelsupdate_panels() refreshes the virtual screen to reflect the relations
between the panels in the stack, but does not call doupdate(3X) to
refresh the physical screen. Use this function and not wrefresh(3X)
update_panels may be called more than once before a call to doupdate,
but doupdate is the function responsible for updating the physicalscreen.
Each routine that returns a pointer returns NULL if an error occurs.
Each routine that returns an int value returns OK if it executes
successfully and ERR if not.
Except as noted, the pan and window parameters must be non-null. If
those are null, an error is returned.
The move_panel function uses mvwin(3X), and will return an error if
mvwin returns an error.
Reasonable care has been taken to ensure compatibility with the
native panel facility introduced in System V (inspection of the SVr4
manual pages suggests the programming interface is unchanged). The
PANEL data structures are merely similar. The programmer is
cautioned not to directly use PANEL fields.
The functions show_panel and top_panel are identical in this
implementation, and work equally well with displayed or hidden
panels. In the native System V implementation, show_panel is
intended for making a hidden panel visible (at the top of the stack)
and top_panel is intended for making an already-visible panel move to
the top of the stack. You are cautioned to use the correct function
to ensure compatibility with native panel libraries.
The panel facility was documented in SVr4.2 in Character UserInterface Programming (UNIX SVR4.2).
It is not part of X/Open Curses.
A few implementations exist:
· Systems based on SVr4 source code, e.g., Solaris, provide this
· ncurses (since version 0.6 in 1993) and PDCurses (since version
2.2 in 1995) provide a panel library whose common ancestor was a
public domain implementation by Warren Tucker published in
u386mon 2.20 (1990).
According to Tucker, the SystemV panel library was first released
in SVr3.2 (1988), and his implementation helped with a port to
Several developers have improved each of these; they are no
longer the same as Tucker's implementation.
· NetBSD 8 (2018) has a panel library begun by Valery Ushakov in
2015. This is based on the AT&T documentation.
Originally written by Warren Tucker <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
primarily to assist in porting u386mon to systems without a native
Repackaged for ncurses by Zeyd ben-Halim.
Juergen Pfeifer and Thomas E. Dickey revised/improved the library.
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