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Re: Right Alt/Meta keys on Windows systems

From: Paul Pogonyshev
Subject: Re: Right Alt/Meta keys on Windows systems
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 21:19:47 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.7.2

Paul Michael Reilly wrote:
> Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:
>  > Reply-To: Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden>
>  > 
>  > > Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2005 19:00:07 -0500
>  > > From: Paul Michael Reilly <address@hidden>
>  > > CC: address@hidden, address@hidden
>  > > 
>  > > Paul seems to be saying that the right Alt key has a compelling
>  > > function for some set of Users (temporary keyboard layout disable)
>  > 
>  > Paul was talking about GNU/Linux systems, not about MS-Windows.
> I understood him to be saying that his Windoze issue also should
> apply to X-Windows.  His Windoze issue, as I interpret it, is about
> the use of the right Alt key to temporarily force the keyboard into a
> U.S. English locale so that a a key available in the U.S. English
> locale but overridden in the other locale can be made available.
> Suffice it to say that this is a related issue (to the use of right
> Alt as a Meta modifier key) to the extent that there are two functions
> that want to use the right Alt key.

I don't use Windows anymore, I just guessed that it might be the same
on Windows as I can configure it to be with `xkb'.  And yes, I think
the policy of Emacs should be the same on X or Windows.

> I will try once more to clarify the issues as I understand them:
> 1) There are two camps who want a particular behavior from the right
>    Alt key on a Windows system.  I believe these behaviors are
>    mutually exclusive:
>    a) Right Alt key is a temporary locale modifier.
>    b) Right Alt key is a Meta modifier key.

Just to clarify _my_ position: I belong to camp a), but I don't think that
Emacs should force my view upon others (less yet to force others' views
upon me ;)  I think that Emacs should behave just as the rest of the system
in this regard.  If my `xkb' is configured to treat the right Alt as
Mode_switch (camp a) locale modifier), wtf would Emacs suddenly think it
knows more about my preferences than me by making right Alt work as Meta?
The same logic holds for the case when `xkb' is configured to not
distinguish the two Alt keys.

I think Emacs _may_ have configuration options for this, but _by default_
it must be consistent with the rest of user's system.

> 2) Some who want the temporary locale modifier on the right Alt key
>    also believe that X-Windows systems should behave similarly.

No, it is the way round.  If I configure X Window System to behave this
way (in my case, from KDE Control Center), I expect every single X-aware
application to behave like I want.  Emacs being no exception.

> 3) The Emacs community is at risk of having well established
>    conventions "stolen" [there is actually a better word than stolen
>    but it is not coming to mind] by up-and-coming Windows UI
>    conventions.

You may also view it the way round: Emacs behaving not like the rest of
the system, pissing new users off.  Again, here customization might help,
but by default Emacs should behave like the rest of the system.


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