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screen in xterm and mouse reporting problems

I’ve recently encountered a problem (on Debian Squeeze) with screen running in xterm, and applications using mouse reporting running inside – that is, an application that can be controlled using mouse while running in a terminal (in my case, elinks, and vim with :set mouse=a behaves the same although I don’t use that setting normally).

Basically, when you start the application, mouse reporting will never be switched off again (unless you do it manually or use `reset`). Not when the application exits, and (more importantly) not when you switch to another screen window!

I tracked this down to autonuke on in my ~/.screenrc. Apparently the clear screen command goes _after_ the turn-off-mouse-reporting command, nuking it in the process. I have enabled this option in the past in the hope that it will be helpful in case I inadverently trigger huge amount of data being sent (I could just “C-a -” to clear my screen. Too bad this breaks it; maybe GNU screen could be made smarter about this and not nuke escape sequences, but I have heard that its developers are fairly unfriendly, so I won’t pursue this further as I don’t need it that badly.

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