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Re: What does 'run' do in cperl-mode?


From: Xah
Subject: Re: What does 'run' do in cperl-mode?
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2008 14:55:48 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Jul 25, 9:41 am, Ted Zlatanov <address@hidden> wrote:
> On Fri, 25 Jul 2008 07:55:29 -0700 (PDT)Xah<address@hidden> wrote:
>
> X> But you can run it by typing Alt+x shell-command (shortcut Alt+x !)
>
> Please note that Alt is not the preferred prefix name for Emacs
> purposes.  It's Meta, abbreviated M (e.g. M-x), for two reasons:
>
> 1) Meta can be mapped to keys other than Alt
>
> 2) Meta can be invoked with ESC as well, which is very handy in a
> terminal session (I actually use ESC all the time even in a graphical
> session)
>
> Ted

Thanks for the info, i think it's good to know.

Here're some reason i think emacs should adopt the Alt+‹key› or
Alt-‹key› notation throughout its documentation.

• The Alt+‹key› or Alt-‹key› notation is universal among Windows and
Linux. Which accounts for about 95% of personal computers used word
wide. (Apple's computers, which account for about %4 marke share
today, also support the Alt key on their keyboards, and OSX's
documentation also use ‹modifier›-‹key› notation. Aquamacs, perhaps
the most widely used emacs distro on OSX, by default has Alt for Meta
too.) (Note that Microsoft Windows used to use the Alt-‹key› notation.
Only in recent years they changed to the Alt+‹key› notation. Arguably,
this is a good change.)

• The Meta name isn't in some linguistic sense superior that covers
different modifier keys on different OSes. It was one of the modifier
key on obsolete keyboards used by lisp machines in the 1980s.

• By default on all major OSes in use (Windows and Linux and OSX),
emacs maps its Meta to Alt key. So, practically speaking, it works
that way.

• Historically, a “Meta+‹key›” shortcut in emacs can also be invoked
by “Esc ‹key›” or “Ctrl+[”. The design was that way mostly because at
the time, many terminals do not have or support the Meta key, and
Terminal is a primary application in computer use in the 1980s. Today,
perhaps all terminal/console/“command line interface” apps support
Meta as Alt either by default or in a preference setting.

• The ability of pressing Esc for Meta might be still useful for some
people. Users who needed that feature could easily read about it in
emacs doc. (I myself used “esc ‹key›” exclusively during 1998-2004,
mostly because it was a one-brainless solution that works on all
telnet apps regardless of hardware, OS, or setup, and i frequently
need to use different machine, OS, or remote servers. Today, i dont
think i ever press Esc ‹key› for Meta+‹key›)

• A argument from user interface perspective, is that multiple
insignificant options are not good because it increases complexity and
causes the user to sidetrack their focus on tasks. KDE and Gnome,
solved this problem for linuxes by adopting wholesale Microsoft
Window's interface starting about 1998. (before KDE and Gnome, GUI
apps on unix use a variety of “Windows Managers” that has incompatible
User Interfaces.)

For some detail related to the Meta key, see:
“Why Emacs's Keyboard Shortcuts Are Painful”
http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs_kb_shortcuts_pain.html

  Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/

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