GNOME lunacy: missing option for disabling cursor blinks in Ubuntu 8.04’s gnome-terminal

The GNOME desktop environment project is plagued by a design philosophy that apparently aims to make user interfaces suitable for lobotomy victims at the cost of removing features and options from the GUI. This has been discussed endlessly elsewhere.

Something probably related to this surfaced when I upgraded to Ubuntu Linux 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron). A program I use a lot, gnome-terminal, no longer has its own setting for disabling cursor blinks under Edit -> Current Profile. Users who want to get rid of this obnoxious response to “no keyboard input” now need to alter the system wide “Cursor blinks in text fields” option under the “System -> Preferences -> Keyboard -> General” menu.

What if I only want to disable cursor blinks in gnome-terminal? In some situations in our world that forces black text on white backgrounds upon us, it’s hard to spot a static, one pixel wide cursor, but in a white or gray on black terminal with a fixed width font and a wide cursor, this problem doesn’t exist. By the way, why anyone would agree to use a terminal with black text on a white background is beyond me.

The crippled cursor problem isn’t limited to the gnome-terminal version 2.22.1 binary bundled with Ubuntu 8.04, it’s in the upstream version too. Luckily there’s at least one patch that removes this restriction. I’m sure I won’t take the time to roll my own patched gnome-terminal, but it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who gets annoyed by shit like this.

EDIT: I later realized that a patched binary has been made available by JLTC.

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