I'd love to get this kind of functionality worked into the shell / xterm / tty to begin with, so i wouldn't have to explictly type "hilite foo" all the time (or set up aliases).
You can use "hilite bash" with bash 2.x and all your commands will be highlighted, but bash knows that it's not talking to a "real" tty, so it disables job control.
Anyway, thanks to some help from Zack Weinberg, i now have a pretty good grasp of why my dreams are impossible. See, any time you create a new file descriptor, the kernel decides whether it's a tty or not. Virtually the only way to get one that is a tty is to use a pty/tty pair.... read more