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bug#17983: 24.4.50; digit keys in *Messages* unhelpful, hang Emacs, etc.

From: Drew Adams
Subject: bug#17983: 24.4.50; digit keys in *Messages* unhelpful, hang Emacs, etc.
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2014 19:35:05 -0700 (PDT)

emacs -Q

C-x b *Messages*

C-h k 7

Tells you that 7 is bound to `digit-argument'.

Why?  It should NOT be.  It is useful to be able to write text in
*Messages*, e.g., to set off or group sets of debug messages.  There is
no need for digit N to be a short cut for C-u N in buffer *Messages*.

C-x C-q ; Make the buffer writable

Unfortunately, Emacs has recently screwed *Messages* so that most keys
are not self-inserting.  This was misguided.  Be that as it may...

C-q H C-q e C-q l C-q p C-q !

Painful, but OK so far.  Now try this:

C-q 7

Nothing.  Nada.

C-q 7 C-q 7 C-q 7.  You see ^G inserted each time (except the first)
that you hit C-q (not when you hit 7), because 7 acts as a prefix arg
for the following ^Q.  Wunderbar.  A feature, no doubt.

C-q 7 7 7.  Now Emacs is hosed - in Neverneverland.  ESC ESC ESC no
good; C-g no good.  No mouse, no keys, nada.  And no CPU use.  Just

The only recourse is to kill the Emacs task from the Windows Task

OK, you might not see this freezing behavior each time.  Sometimes C-g
does quit OK, as does C-b, muose-1 etc.  Hit C-q and then hold 7 down
for a few seconds, then C-g.  If Emacs is not frozen solid and C-g works
then you get helpful feedback such as this:

user-error: A-C-H-M-S-s- is not a valid character

Other times, Emacs freezes solid.  Regardless of whether it freezes each
time, if you hit C-q and then 7 one or more times there is no feedback -
already a no-no (bug).

C-q should simply quote the 7, as it should quote other characters you
type (including ^U, BTW).

Trying to "improve" *Messages* for Emacs 24 was misguided.  It is far
less useful now than it was before.  Is there even one change that was
made that represents progress - something useful?  Please consider
reverting it to what it was since Day One.  Barring that requested
return to sanity, please at least fix the C-q behavior.  Thx.

In GNU Emacs (i686-pc-mingw32)
 of 2014-06-28 on ODIEONE
Bzr revision: 117431 address@hidden
Windowing system distributor `Microsoft Corp.', version 6.1.7601
Configured using:
 `configure --prefix=/c/Devel/emacs/snapshot/trunk
 --enable-checking=yes,glyphs 'CFLAGS=-O0 -g3'
 LDFLAGS=-Lc:/Devel/emacs/lib 'CPPFLAGS=-DGC_MCHECK=1

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