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Should C-x C-x activate the region? [was: C-d deleting region considered

From: Drew Adams
Subject: Should C-x C-x activate the region? [was: C-d deleting region considered harmful]
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2010 13:06:06 -0700

> > However I've been annoyed quite few times when it 
> > highlights the region when I don't want it.  C-x C-x being a
> > primal example (yes, I understand that it's a change in 
> > semantics).

(I think he meant "prime" rather than "primal", FWIW.)

> Perhaps `C-x C-x' is the prime annoyance factor here?  It 
> certainly was for me.  Perhaps it just shouldn't activate
> the transient mark mode?

Good question.  New thread.

If indeed most of those who are annoyed by t-m-mode (I am _not_ one, FWIW) are
_mostly_ annoyed by `C-x C-x' activating the region, there is a simple solution
for them: rebind `C-x C-x' to a similar command that never activates the mark.

Going beyond such individual remedies, are there many such annoyed users?  If so
then perhaps we should simply make that change to the default behavior: _not_
have `C-x C-x' activate the region.

`C-x C-x' currently has two independent effects that are only artificially
coupled: (a) activate the region, (b) swap point and mark.  Both effects are
useful, but they need not be coupled in the same key/command.  Personally, I
don't think I would have a problem with using two (simple) keys for those two

(We effectively already have different keys via the prefix arg, but their use is
not so convenient.  A new, separate binding for region activation would need to
be simple.)

For those who really want the current complex, DWIM behavior, we could keep it
but just not bind it to `C-x C-x' by default.

And the current behavior really does not deserve the traditional name
`exchange-point-and-mark'.  That name does not adequately describe its behavior
anymore.  Perhaps put `-dwim-' in the name somewhere, if we decide to keep such
a command at all.


Another possibility that just occurred to me (was this perhaps already
discussed?): Let `C-x C-x' activate the region only if repeated (i.e., `C-x C-x
C-x C-x').  But I suspect that that would still be annoying for navigational use
(bounce to see where the mark is).

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