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Re: Will default key bindings spell the death of Emacs?

From: Kai Großjohann
Subject: Re: Will default key bindings spell the death of Emacs?
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 07:13:48 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.1003 (Gnus v5.10.3) Emacs/21.3.50 (gnu/linux)

Lars Hansen <address@hidden> writes:

> Emacs is said to be customizable, and key bindings is the first
> thing users want to customize. But key bindings are much to hard to
> change! When I started using Emacs some years ago, I spend several
> weeks trying to figure out how to bind the most basic operations to
> the keys I wanted. In particular I wanted ESC to do
> keyboard-escape-quit and C-z, C-x, C-c, C-v to do what they do on MS
> Windows. That ought not to be difficult at all, it should be a piece
> of cake, especially to new users! So we do indeed have a problem!

I'm not so sure it's desirable to make it that easy.  I have fairly
strong feelings about my window manager keybindings, for instance.
So when I started to use KDE, I also started to configure its
keybindings.  KDE has a very intuitive interface for doing this, so I
had no trouble to do the changes themselves.  But it was not so easy
to find a consistent set of keybindings.

I also started to use Gnome a short while ago, and there I also
changed the keybindings to my liking.  I had similar problems, only
fewer of them, because Gnome doesn't allow for configuring so many

Given that Emacs has *hundreds* of keybindings, people are going to
have real problems with the rebinding.  For example, if you rebind
ESC and C-x and C-c, then you lose a lot of other bindings that you
somehow need to make accessible.

These days, there is the cua package which tries hard to make C-z,
C-x, C-c and C-v available.  It was hard work.

I like the Gnome approach where you can select some flavors of
keybindings and don't have to change each one of them individually.
This is also offered by Emacs, via cua and crisp-mode and
wordstar-mode and so on.

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