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Proposal: merge [S-tab] and [backtab]

From: Paul Griepentrog
Subject: Proposal: merge [S-tab] and [backtab]
Date: Sun, 01 Aug 2010 21:22:31 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100713 Thunderbird/3.1.1

 Just a tidbit of computer evolution: the [backtab] key does not
exist on modern keyboards.  Of course, Emacs uses this key in
several modes (grep, compile, erc, ...).  So, in the place of
[backtab] within Emacs, [S-tab] is the conventional binding for a
poor man's backtab.  For convenience, some terminals (X,
Windows, and recently: NextStep) translate the keypress of
[S-tab] into [backtab] and nobody is the wizer.

Unless... you want to bind [S-tab] in a mode.  Then you find out
[S-tab] is NOT the key sequence you thought it was.  The binding
worked on X and Windows, but not at the terminal (or another
platform which did not link [S-tab] to [backtab]).  What
happened?!  Well, so you bind [backtab] as well.

My proposal is to universally translate [S-tab] and [S-iso-tab]
into [backtab] across all terminals.  At least then you can bind
[backtab] and know it will work across platforms and terminals.
Included in this proposal is removing obsolete bindings to
[S-tab] and [S-iso-tab] for modes within Emacs and updating the
documentation.  I include [S-iso-tab] since it is yet another
abused synonym for [backtab].

Note: this change will NOT ADD or REMOVE any bindings.  It is to
unify the keypresses of [S-tab], [S-iso-tab] to [backtab] where
they already exist.

I don't pretend to know the history of the keybindings or
specific terminals, but a uniform view of [S-tab] vs [backtab]
makes sense to me.


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