I’ve been meaning to learn how to program in curses/ncurses for a while. There’s a great reference here (written by Pradeep Padala), which includes a basic introduction to ncurses. There’s also another great guide here, written by Eric S. Raymond and Zeyd M. Ben-Halim.
Both of these resources start out with a basic introduction to the concepts involved, and the history of termcap and terminfo.
While I’ve never actually gotten around to utilising these resources, they’re fantastically well written and very easy to understand.