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Re: [AUCTeX] Emacs Input Method and / or Coding System and / or keyboard

From: Joost Kremers
Subject: Re: [AUCTeX] Emacs Input Method and / or Coding System and / or keyboard setting
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 19:48:04 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

On Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 11:01:30AM -0400, address@hidden wrote:
> ever since I upgraded to Emacs 22.1, from 21.3.1, I experience the
> following problem.
> I start Emacs and start editing latex files, everything goes fine for a
> while but after some time I can't anymore input the latex special
> characters, like "\" for example, and I am having problems with accented
> letters as well, my documents are written in French.  It seems Emacs has
> switch coding system or keyboard layout or I don't know what?  I played
> quite a bit with the Mule options but without success.  It gets very
> anoying since it happens several times a day.  The only cure I found so far
> is to exit Emacs and start over again.

the first thing that comes to mind is that you may have inadvertently
pressed a key combination that switches the keyboard layout in X. IIUC
newer versions of X allow you to set the keyboard layout per application,
so that would explain why only emacs is affected, and why it can be
corrected by restarting emacs.

check your xorg.conf file for a line like 

        Option       "XkbOptions"  "grp:shifts_toggle,compose:rwin"

the grp:shift_toggle part says that pressing both shift keys simultaneously
changes the keyboard layout.

i used to have it set to left shift+alt, but that is a combo that is
sometimes necessary for emacs key commands (e.g. M-$, M-%, etc). even with
my current setting, i sometimes accidentally hit both shifts at the same
time while typing.

> It is probably not Auctex related but there is so much emacs expertise on
> this list that I thought I'd ask.  Auctex version is 11.84.
> Let me add a little bit of information which might help pinpoint the
> problem.
> I run a 64-bit version of a stat. package  installed on a network 64-bit
> Linux box.  I log on the Unix box through ICA client from my XP machine.
> Once there I start Emacs from which I fire the stat package.

mmm, ok, so IIUC you're not actually running X, but rather emacs in the ICA
client? in that case, the problem could be similar, just with windows being
the culprit. at least since XP, windows has the ability to set keyboard
layout per application, with the default being restored when you restart an
app. you'll have to check the windows keyboard settings. click around a
bit, there's an option to set the keys for switching layouts somewhere.

in emacs itself, C-\ toggles the input method, C-x RET C-\ allows you to
specify an input method. but my guess is that your problem lies in the
windowing system, in that you unknowingly activate the switch-layout key


Joost Kremers, PhD
University of Frankfurt
Institute for Cognitive Linguistics
Gr├╝neburgplatz 1
60629 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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