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Emacs manual not too helpful about binding keys

From: Drew Adams
Subject: Emacs manual not too helpful about binding keys
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2008 17:51:56 -0700

I find the Emacs manual not to be very helpful about how to bind key sequences.
I couldn't even find the form (kbd...) in the manual, and I thought that was
what we are now recommending in general (no?).

I tried using `i' in the manual to find information about how to bind keys, but
it wasn't very helpful. I looked for `binding', and the only index entry was for
node Commands. I tried `i key TAB' and saw lots that looks similar (rebinding,
binding,...). Not too clear to me. 

I finally found node Init Rebinding (weird name, BTW). It had examples of using
strings such as "\C-z" and vectors such as [?\C-=] and [C-mouse-1], but it had
nothing about `kbd' or the form [(control mouse-1)]. 

I didn't find a node that explained the various formats and their different uses
and limitations. I didn't find any general format recommendations. I didn't find
any link in Init Rebinding to another node that might explain such things - the
only link there sends you to a node explaining details about keyboard encodings
and binding non-ASCII keys.

Where is the introductory, top-level explanation about recommended ways to bind
keys? Surely that's something that even lots of non-expert users do. The Key
Bindings node (from node Customization) sends you immediately into the depths of
understanding keymaps - no introduction there about binding keys AFAICT.

I did find information about `kbd' in the Elisp manual, and even some text that
stresses its convenience and portability. But that information is missing from
the Emacs manual AFAICT. IIUC, this is info that is quite important for most
users. There are often questions at help-gnu-emacs about how to bind keys, and
the answer there is typically: "Use kbd". If this is a FAQ, then the answer
belongs in the Emacs manual, no?

I hope others agree that this kind of info belongs in the Emacs manual and that
someone can find the time to add it (or move it) there.

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