Entries in terminfo(F) source files consist of a number of comma-separated fields. (To obtain the source description for a terminal, use the -I option of infocmp(ADM).) White space after each comma is ignored. The first line of each terminal description in the terminfo database gives the names by which terminfo knows the terminal, separated by bar (|) characters. The first name given is the most common abbreviation for the terminal (this is the one to use to set the environment variable TERMINFO in $HOME.profile; see profile(M). The last name given should be a long name fully identifying the terminal, and all others are understood as synonyms for the terminal name. All names but the last should contain no blanks and must be unique in the first 14 characters; the last name may contain blanks for readability.
Terminal names (except for the last, verbose entry) should be chosen using the following conventions. The particular piece of hardware making up the terminal should have a root name chosen. For example, for the AT&T 4425 terminal, the root name is att4425. This name should not contain hyphens, except that synonyms may be chosen that do not conflict with other names. Up to 8 characters, chosen from [a-z0-9], make up a basic terminal name. Names should generally be based on original vendors, rather than local distributors. A terminal acquired from one vendor should not have more than one distinct basic name. Terminal sub-models, operational modes that the hardware can be in, or user preferences, should be indicated by appending a hyphen and an indicator of the mode. Thus, an AT&T 4425 terminal in 132 column mode would be att4425-w. The following suffixes should be used where possible:
|-am||With automatic margins (usually default)||vt100-am|
|-n||Number of lines on the screen||aaa-60|
|-nam||Without automatic margins||vt100-nam|
|-na||No arrow keys (leave them in local)||c100-na|
|-np||Number of pages of memory||c100-4p|
|-w||Wide mode (more than 80 columns)||att4425-w|
For a list of terminfo names and terminals, see terminals(M) or enter the command ls -C /usr/lib/terminfo/? | more to see all the terminal names defined in the terminfo database. Commands whose behavior depends on the type of terminal should accept arguments of the form -Tterm where term is a name defined in the terminfo database. If no such argument is present, such commands should obtain the terminal type from the environment variable TERM, which, in turn, should contain term.
SCO Hardware Compatibility Handbook