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RE: C-M-TAB stand-in for M-TAB, on MS Windows?

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: C-M-TAB stand-in for M-TAB, on MS Windows?
Date: Mon, 26 May 2008 13:07:34 -0700

> > We should also document `w32-(un)register-hot-key'.
> > This seems to be a gross oversight.
> Actually, I deliberately decided not to document it, because it
> sounded like an obscure function whose meaning and semantics will not
> be clear to most users (you just confirmed that, btw), and whose use
> is limited to marginal cases.

I didn't confirm that at all - quite the contrary. Just because I didn't know
that Emacs has such a setting does not mean that I didn't wish for it.

And how is this limited to marginal cases? Please elaborate.

There is a fair amount of Internet traffic and Web space devoted to ALT-TAB,
M-TAB, Emacs, and Windows. Some people prefer the Windows ALT-TAB behavior from
within Emacs and some prefer that Emacs see ALT-TAB as M-TAB. There are
discussions both ways, but the topic is at least alive. And there seems to be
general ignorance of `w32-(un)register-hot-key', resulting in diverse hacks to
get the job done or construct workarounds.

What the default Emacs behavior should be might be something to discuss, but I
cannot see why this should not at least be _documented_.

BTW, we say this in the Emacs manual (node Symbol Completion):

 If your window manager defines `M-<TAB>' to switch windows, you can
 type `<ESC> <TAB>' or `C-M-i' instead.  However, most window managers
 let you customize these shortcuts, and we recommend that you change any
 that get in the way of use of Emacs.

That seems to argue in support of giving Emacs, not the Window manager, M-TAB by
default. MS Windows should, by default, not "get in the way of use of Emacs".
And since Emacs provides a way to do this (in Windows, at least), there is no
reason to recommend that users go to the trouble of customizing the
window-manager shortcuts outside Emacs - just fix it in Emacs, by default.

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