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Re: Binding F11 and F12 to buffer-switching and file-saving by default

From: Stephen Leake
Subject: Re: Binding F11 and F12 to buffer-switching and file-saving by default
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 10:21:56 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) Emacs/21.3 (windows-nt)

Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> writes:

>> * to bind <F11> to some kind of buffer-switching command such as
>>   iswitchb-buffer,
>> * and to bind <F12> to save-buffer, 
>> by default? These are very commonly used functions, so I think it 
>> is worthwhile to provide one-key access to them.
> Actually, I find this reasoning rather odd:
> - on the one hand, they're much less used than many other commands.
>   Yes, it's very unlikely that a user would never use such commands in any
>   given Emacs session, but as for frequency of use, it's not that high up
>   the list.

I use 'iswitchb-buffer' a _lot_. But it is an individual preference.

> - F11 and F12 are rather far, so they're not quick. It's "one key",
> but it's not clear that it's quicker to use than C-x C-s for
> example.

I have iswitchb-buffer bound to F11, and find-file bound to F12. I
much prefer single keys (even when "far") to double keys; my wrists
have trouble reaching the control key.

Again, a very personal preference.

> This said, I think it probably makes sense to give default bindings to those
> Fn keys rather than leave them unused.  We should keep them as "user
> modifiable" keys, tho (i.e. commands bound to an Fn key should also have
> a good other binding).

I agree with the goal to "make Emacs more friendly to the
newbie". But I think that is best done via menus, not more

I also agree that this should be considered after the release.

> I'd tend to consider the Fn keys in a similar way to menu entries or toolbar
> entries.  Actually maybe a good idea would be to map toolbar entries to Fn
> keys: F2 presses the first button, F3 the second, etc...

I don't think that's helpful. If I like the toolbar, it's because I
use the mouse, so the function key bindings would just be redundant.
If I don't like the toolbar, I turn it off to allow more space for
buffer contents, so I would lose the labeling of the function keys.

-- Stephe

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