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two mysteries

Deep in my butcherings of Sebastian's code:


... it will work fine for days, then one Tuesday 'START_IDX' starts throwing 'divide by zero' errors, and it turns out that it's been transmuted from an integer to a string. There aughta be a law:

    typeset -I number ... 'number' is an integer for ever and ever.

    START_IDX=$(( 1+((idx-1)/page_hight)*page_hight ))

... fixes it, but I recall weeks back that that fix introduced other bugs, tho I'd not stake anything on that, and it works on Wednesdays anyway. But most days the variable remains an integer regardless of the fix. God knows why a 'divide by zero' error would be thrown when zsh considers the thing to be a string anyway. If it really must convert my integers to strings, then tell me "You are trying to do arithmetic on a string, dolt".

2nd mystery:

I have this little helper, you put it into code:

   echo this
   varis foo line123 5


    line123 5: evaluated: "foo" is: that

... to /dev/pts/5. It pointedly takes the variable name without any '$' so that the name of the variable can be reported along with it's 'evaled' value. Very helpful. The strange thing is that, now that I'm playing with associative arrays, yesterday I had to single quote:

     varis 'array[value]' line456 5

... but only with arrays--scalars were fine--or I got a message to the effect that 'no values were matched'. AND ... now that I get around to typing this the next day, the problem is gone, so I can't report the message :-(

As the vaguest of probably unanswerable questions, what might possibly have been different yesterday? Some option being changed in the background perhaps? I've tried keeping an eye on that, but nothing. As with mystery #1 above, this must be explicable but I don't know where to begin looking.

In the same vein, if one of these 'zcurses' functions crashes, what the docs say about the terminal being in a unstable state sure is true. Things look fine, but, for example, history recall goes screwy. I've learned to kill and restart the terminal--just restarting zsh isn't good enough. It would be helpful if zcurses could report: "Please restart this xterm" or something. Anyway, these strange, ghostly haunted house things sure are bothersome. There's a skeleton buried somewhere, if I could find it.

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