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Re: emacs compatibility - changing a default binding?

From: Michael Grant
Subject: Re: emacs compatibility - changing a default binding?
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2013 21:39:54 +0100

Personally I use ctrl-^ as my screen escape character.  This seems to be the one character that doesn't get in the way of anything for me.

You definitely want to change it from ctrl-a because this is beginning of line in emacs and many shells such as tcsh and bash.  Hard for me to imagine why this is the default in screen.  In fact avoid ctrl-any letter.

You don't want to use ctrl-space as this sets the mark in emacs.

You don't want to use the esc key as this is a lead in character for many emacs commands

You don't want to use ctrl-_, this is bound to undo in emacs (or at least it is in my emacs)

You may not want to use ctrl-] if you use telnet (few do these days) as this is telnet's escape character.  This is my second choice of key.

Maybe you don't want to use ctrl-\, in my emacs it's bound to switching between buffers and as you said it might cause an abort (a core dump) in the right context.  However, this would probably be my third choice of keys.

I don't know if it would work but maybe you could bind screen to use an obscure unicode character and then bind a key on your keyboard to transmit a utf-8 value when something odd was pressed like AltGr-Esc.  You can use a tool like to create a new keyboard mapping (on windows--similar things exist on linux/mac) and add a key comination to emit the unicode character.  If someone tries this, I'd be interested to know if that works!

Michael Grant

On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 8:55 PM, Erik Falor <address@hidden> wrote:
On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 03:43:09PM +0100, Joe Corneli wrote:
> From looking back at the archives (all the way to 1987), I see that ^A
> has been the default command key for Screen from the beginning.  I
> know that this can be changed on a per-user or even per installation
> basis, but I'm wondering whether that's the best approach, since users
> will become familiar with the universal default.
> And yet, the default binding conflicts with the default binding C-a
> for `move-beginning-of-line' in Emacs, which presumably affects many
> users.  Rather than have lots of different workarounds
> (, might it make sense to
> change the default binding?

I had to chuckle at the suggestion to use Ctrl-\ as Screen's escape
key.  I did this for a while and discovered that one can raise SIGABRT
from the command-line!

I use Ctrl-Space as my escape key:

escape ^@@

But then again, I'm not an Emacs user and don't have to set-mark.

Erik Falor                             
Registered Linux User #445632        

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