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Date:      Sat, 6 Apr 2019 14:58:23 -0600
From:      "@lbutlr" <>
Subject:   Re: Column widths FROM / WHAT in w(1)
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On 6 Apr 2019, at 07:33, Polytropon <> wrote:
> System: FreeBSD 12.0-p3 i386.
> I recently discovered that the WHAT column in the output
> of the "w" command has become unusable, and "man w" does
> not seem to indicate any user control for the formatting
> of the columns.
> The column WHAT now can only show up to 3 (in words: three)
> characters on a standard 80-column terminal. I will put a

How long has it been since an 80 column terminal was standard? Even back =
as far as the late 80s the majority of terminals I used were 132 columns =
and if you were stuck on an ADM-3a you got off it as quickly as =
possible, and now I don't even know where you would find an 80 column =

> ruler on top for illustration:
> =
> USER       TTY      FROM                                      LOGIN@  =
> Things like "xinit" become "xin", and any longer command
> cannot be easily identified anymore. Columns 79 and 80
> aren't used at all.
> For comparison: On an older system, I get this layout:
> =
> USER             TTY      FROM              LOGIN@  IDLE WHAT
> This is more than 20 characters for the WHAT field.

Does it depend on the contents of "From"? Hmm, no, it doesn't seem too. =
however, I will say that getting the from field cut-off in `w` is a lot =
more of an issue than the WHAT column, I think.

Have you looked at xo_parse_args?

You could always output as json or xml and do your own thing.

> Any idea on how to get the old layout of w back, instead
> of increasing the terminal width?

"Oh damn", said Maladict.

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