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Re: [CVS] f7, f8 bound..

From: Kim F. Storm
Subject: Re: [CVS] f7, f8 bound..
Date: 28 Aug 2002 11:33:08 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

Miles Bader <address@hidden> writes:

> "Stefan Monnier" <monnier+gnu/address@hidden> writes:
> > > I.e. I have to hit 4 keys to type C-x (, type the macro, then hit 4
> > > keys to type C-x ), and finally 3 keys to type C-x e for every call of
> > > the macro.
> > 
> > Sure.  So you bound them to some of the user-reserved function keys.
> > Great for you.  Don't force it down everybody's throat.
> Yeah, I think this sums it up.  Everybody has their favorite customizations,
> but please think a little harder before pushing to make them the default.

I've thought quite a lot about this.

The _main point_ of the new kmacro package is that it is supposed to
make keyboard macro _much easier_ to use that the current bindings do.

Note that where the old (and still available) bindings use separate
commands for ending and calling a keyboard macro, the new bindings
merges the ending and calling onto the same key.  So kmacro just needs
two [function] keys rather than three.

> Maybe some people use keyboard macros very frequently, but I think most use
> them just sometimes, and reserving two keys from an extremely limited set is
> too much.  As those two keys are rather hard to remember, it's likely that
> this change won't help the occasional macro-user _at all_.

My mission is to convert occasional macro users into frequent macro users !

A trivial example:

Let's say I need to tag a ; onto the next four lines in my buffer.

I could do this directly:

        C-e ; C-n C-e ; C-n C-e ; C-n C-e ;

That's a total of 18 key strokes counting 4 uses of Ctrl and 4 uses of
Shift as key strokes (assuming ; is on a Shifted key and you keep the
Ctrl key pressed while typing C-n C-e.)

Since this is a repeated task, I should be able to use a keyboard
macro for it...   let's try it with the old bindings:

        C-x ( C-e ; C-n C-x ) M-3 C-x e

But that's still 18 key strokes [half of which are modifier keys], so
it's definitely not worth the trouble.  No wonder keyboard macros are
not used very much...

Ok, to be fair, I (as an expert user) know that if I want to repeat
the macro immediately, I could do it with just 16 key strokes like

        C-x ( C-e ; C-n M-4 C-x )

But that's still not really worth it.

With the new bindings this is quite different:

        F3 C-e ; C-n F4 F4 F4 F4

That's just 11 key strokes - of which the last 4 are on the same key -
so it more like 8 individual key strokes and a little extra tapping on
the last key.  And only three modifier keys are used.

That's why I'm strongly advocating putting the kmacro commands on
easily accessible keys (read: function keys); it really makes using
keyboard macros much more efficient for repeating _simple_ tasks.

So to Stefan and others:
I'm not trying to force things down everybody's throat.  I'm
providing a default binding which makes a _big_ difference in
usability for the average user.

If _you_ don't need it or want it ... just rebind it.  Oh yeah,
you probably already did that, so what's the fuzz all about?


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