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Oh no! Still more obscure options to format! Gack! :-) Seriously, I think
format is already much too complicated. Sure, you can get some amazing effects
from all of those strange options, but at the expense of making your code
totally incomprehensible to the casual reader.
Cursor positioning and screen manipulation functions should be *functions*,
and preferably "yellow pages" utilities rather than part of the language
core. I might also point out that a high-level display manipulation package
(a la curses) stands a much better chance of being portable between different
devices than does a low-level protocol. Yes, one approach to portability is
to reduce everything to a "lowest common denominator" and assume that every
device can behave roughly like a dumb VT52, but if you do that you lose on
efficiency since most devices these days are a whole lot smarter than a VT52.