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Re: Key bindings proposal

From: Lennart Borgman
Subject: Re: Key bindings proposal
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 13:25:43 +0200

On Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 1:11 PM,  <address@hidden> wrote:
> Lennart Borgman <address@hidden> writes:
>> On Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 12:20 PM,  <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> I dont understand this. I normaly have menus disabled, but I enabled
>>> them now to see. In the File menu I have an entry like:
>>>  "Visit new file... C-x C-f"
>>> Isn't that a "keyboard accelerator"?
>> Yes, but it is not menu accelerators. Those are underlined chars in
>> the menus. (At least on w32 all applications I know of have them,
>> except Emacs.)
> But did you snip the part about how firefox does it here?
> Firefox does the same thing as emacs, it only uses "menu accelerators"
> when it doesnt provide a specific keybinding.

No. At least on w32 it normally shows both keyboard and menu
accelerators in the menus. See the "View" submenu for example.

> see the "organize bookmarks" example.

That is a bit special since it is a list of your bookmarks.

(Also a lot of add-ons in Firefox does not add menu accelerators the
way the are supposed. Some add them when they should not and others
omit them when they should add them.)

> (As a side-note I always want to try to emacsify a program rather than
> programify emacs, so I do understand the urge to arrive at a consistent
> overall environment)

Is not that quite a lot more work ... ;-)

>>> Or do you mean there is no obvious way to traverse the menus from the
>>> keyboard? Could we then promote the use of F10 already in the menu bar
>>> text? (f10 is bound to menu-bar-open here)
>>> perhaps like the 1st line of the help menu or something:
>>>  "Use F10 to start traversing menus with kbd"
>> That is not the standard way to access menus (at least not on w32).
>> You normally use the Alt key to access them. (Here too it is important
>> to notice that with all applications I know of on w32 you can access
>> menus that way. Except Emacs.)
>> Maybe it is still good to tell about f10 since most non-Emacs users
>> are not aware of that.
> I wasnt either. I sort of just stumbled about the keyboard to see if
> something activated menu traversal :)
> Anyway, what would you do with emacs normal use of alt then?

In my patched version of Emacs on w32 you can use the left and/or
right window keys as alt instead.

Some people here has said that this is just as bad since that
overrides the normal use of those keys. I do not agree for two

- microsoft has made it possible to override those keys totally, while
you can not totally override the alt key.
- using the alt key is far more common than using the windows key.

> Should alt be an emacs event in itself? Maybe this is possible already?

See above.

> As another related side-note I would like to experiment with modal keybindings
> in Emacs, to implement something like ctrl-lock functionality. That
> would I suppose be similar to your use-case for the alt key.

Except that the window manager does not let you handle all key
combinations with the Alt key. (You can not override for example
Alt-Tab on w32. And that is a good thing in my opinion.)

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