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Re: C-d deleting region considered harmful

From: Miles Bader
Subject: Re: C-d deleting region considered harmful
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2010 03:40:31 +0900

Christoph <address@hidden> writes:

>> However, the effect of "C-d" deleting the active region has been
>> driving me nuts for quite a while.
> I am trying to understand the real problem here. I personally think the
> new behavior is more intuitive, but anyway. If you mark an active
> region, why exactly do you press C-d? Wouldn't you expect the command
> after selecting the active region to be executed on the active region?

I press C-d to delete the character after the cursor -- the command is
called "delete-forward-char" after all.  Adding a new meaning when the
region is activated may or may not be an extra convenience, but it's
not unambiguously natural behavior.

It's not uncommon to have the region be activated somewhat
inadvertently; this is generally harmless, but since the traditional
behavior in emacs is to simply deactivate the region when one hits
C-d, I've apparently become used to hitting C-d to perform its
traditional functionality, even when the region is active.  Because
C-d is a very low-level command, this sort of thing usually occurs in
a quick sequence of commands, not as a carefully considered event
where I think deeply about the meaning and consequence of each
keystroke before executing it.

As I mentioned, DEL/backspace theoretically suffer the same issue, but
don't seem to be a problem for me in practice; maybe that's because
I've also become used to the "extra functionality" in that case due to
using mac/windows software.

Moreover, adding this new functionality to DEL/backspace has
undeniable utility, because many many mac/windows users have that
particular usage hardwired into their fingers.  This is _not_ true of


People who are more than casually interested in computers should have at
least some idea of what the underlying hardware is like.  Otherwise the
programs they write will be pretty weird.  -- Donald Knuth

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