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C-h, F1, Backspace, and splash screen

From: Ken Brown
Subject: C-h, F1, Backspace, and splash screen
Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 12:26:27 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090302)

As I've announced in a different thread, I'm trying to bring cygwin's emacs packages up to date. One annoyance that I've encountered, which may not be cygwin specific, is that C-h is not available as the help key when emacs is run in a text terminal. I've looked at the documentation for normal-erase-is-backspace-mode, and it seems that this is to be expected. But the splash screen still says that C-h is the help key, which could be confusing to new emacs users. Such users may not know how to get to the documentation that tells them to use F1 as the help key.

It seems that the problem is in startup.el:

  ;; If keys have their default meanings,
  ;; use precomputed string to save lots of time.
  (if (and (eq (key-binding "\C-h") 'help-command)
           (eq (key-binding "\C-xu") 'advertised-undo)
           (eq (key-binding "\C-x\C-c") 'save-buffers-kill-terminal)
           (eq (key-binding "\C-ht") 'help-with-tutorial)
           (eq (key-binding "\C-hi") 'info)
           (eq (key-binding "\C-hr") 'info-emacs-manual)
           (eq (key-binding "\C-h\C-n") 'view-emacs-news))
        (insert "
Get help\t   C-h  (Hold down CTRL and press h)

Given that C-h has been translated to DEL by normal-erase-is-backspace-mode, shouldn't the startup code detect this and tell the user that F1 is the help key? Or am I misunderstanding something?


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