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bug#1993: 23.0.60; Emacs.app has only transparent window background

From: Adrian Robert
Subject: bug#1993: 23.0.60; Emacs.app has only transparent window background
Date: Mon, 6 Apr 2009 10:10:36 +0545

On Apr 4, 2009, at 9:45 PM, David Reitter wrote:

I agree with both of these. So perhaps the best default would be command=command (super), alt=none, and the user can set a meta key (additional to esc+) if he/she desires.

Well, that would be another alternative - maybe a good one. It's my second-preferred variant.

The reason why I support Command=Meta for Emacs 23 is experience from working with Aquamacs and Carbon Emacs users. It seems to me that there is a division between Emacs traditionalists, who would like an Emacs with maximum compatibility across platforms. These people don't need/want Mac keybindings. On the other end, you find people with the need for cross-application integration. Unsurprisingly, that's the typical Aquamacs user, while the traditionalists compile Emacs from scratch or use a distribution like Carbon Emacs Package.

Do W32 users face this same issue? That is, does 'alt' play the same role on their non-US keyboards as it does on the Mac ones? Can we follow Emacs on W32 in that case?

IMHO Command is too heavily used on the Mac to simply throw under the bus by default -- the very user who will like emacs or uses it on other platforms is exactly the one already using cmd-shortcuts in other apps on the Mac. Further, "traditionalists" are most prepared to get their hands dirty and set up a command=meta mapping if they want it. Whereas a less savvy, single-platform user coming to Emacs.app from Text Edit, XCode, etc. will be most at home with command=super and alt=alt. As they learn emacs more, they can make their own decision about which key to give up for meta if they dislike esc+.

In any case the information about these key settings should be easily accessible to users and the method of changing them should be easy. This could be done with a customization buffer hyperlinked from either the splash screen or a help menu item. This could be reconciled with the desire to keep the interface uniform across all platforms by allowing a sentence on splash or a single menu item under Help for platform-specific information.


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