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Re: "What's This?" in Describe submenu

From: Luc Teirlinck
Subject: Re: "What's This?" in Describe submenu
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2005 12:26:31 -0500 (CDT)

Martin Rudalics wrote:

   What is the purpose of the "What's This?" entry in the Describe submenu
   of the Help menu?  The only difference to the "Describe Key..." entry
   beneath is that the latter is bound to `describe-key-1' which is
   not defined anywhere.

[describe-key-1] is the key, not the binding.  The bindings are
completely identical.

>From looking at the actual change:

  2002-11-24  Richard M. Stallman  <address@hidden>

              * menu-bar.el (menu-bar-describe-menu): Add "What's This?"

the duplication appears to have been intentional, since the original
[describe-key] key for "Describe Key" was changed to [describe-key-1]
to make the duplication possible.

However, the duplication is very confusing.  You first guess that they
_must_ be doing something different, since otherwise there would be no
need for two distinct menu items and if you look at the code and see
that they actually are exactly the same, you are convinced that this
must have been an inadvertent mistake.

I guess that people could not agree which of "What's this" or
"Describe Key" was clearer and then the worst of both worlds (two
entries) was chosen as a compromise.  To me, "Describe Key" is clear
and in line with the other menu item names, whereas "What's this"
looks cryptic (what is meant with "this"?).

My first choice would be to just delete "What's this".  But,
alternately one could have one menu item called:

What's This? (Describe Key)

That is still shorter than several other item names in the same submenu:

What's This? (Describe Key)
Describe Language Environment
Describe Coding System (Briefly)



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