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Update: A lengthy response to this item:
The following is mostly untrue. Do not depend on it for anything whatever. If anyone can supply a better description, that would probably be useful.
PuTTY claims a terminal type of "xterm" by default, but doesn't actually default to being compatible with xterm. Even in xterm function-key mode, PuTTY doesn't actually generate the right sequences for everything.
Of course, this is made trickier by the fact that there are many different
versions of xterm, but current XFree86 xterm seems to be considered the best
baseline by our users. Its
ctlseqs.ms documents things fairly
Ref: Debian Bug #167629.
Audit trail for this wish.