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I am configuring ksh88 on AIX 5.3L and came across a few lines that are supposed to enable the arrow keys for command history navigation.

alias __A=$(print -n "\020")
alias __B=$(print -n "\016")
alias __C=$(print -n "\006")
alias __D=$(print -n "\002")

What I want to know is what do the leading underscores indicate? The reason that I am asking is that I need to, on login, conditionally remap function keys based on some criteria. I am wondering if this is an avenue that I can and should pursue.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

They indicate nothing special. They're just part of the alias name.

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This is a convention used by the author of the alias. They don't have any special technical meaning (Unless the code has special rules to parse the __, but I doubt it).

This convention is often used to denote structures which are generally only used internally, inside a script or a function. If you check, you might find that these aliases are only called from within another part of the script, but are otherwise unused.

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