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RE: Bikeshedding go! Why is <M-f4> unbound?

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Bikeshedding go! Why is <M-f4> unbound?
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2011 09:17:22 -0800

> isn't M-f4 what most desktop environments, e.g. KDE and Gnome,
> use to close a window by default? To a new Emacs user, which we
> have to consider, M-f4 *not* closing the window on a Windows
> system could potentially be confusing and maybe even irritating.

Same argument for all of the other Windows keys:


There are no doubt similar keys for KDE, Gnome etc.
Or you could argue for keeping just the common subset.

Where do you draw the line?  I would draw it right here and now: let's not bind
_any_ such keys in Emacs by default.  There's already enough dispute between
Emacs and window managers over keys such as ALT-TAB (hello, Lennart).

I do think we should make it easy (and clear how) to choose whether to give all
power to the window manager or all (almost) to Emacs.  Maybe we do that well
enough already - dunno.

I'm more interested in Emacs newbies learning an Emacs key such as `C-x 5 0' to
remove a frame than I am in reproducing a window-mgr key that does essentially
the same thing (perhaps at a different level).  You seem to be more worried
about keeping newbies warm and comfortable with what they are already used to.
The bike shed is blue.

Also, we already discussed letting Emacs users use menu accelerator keys, so
that they could do what is in all of the menus using the keyboard (without tmm,
lacarte, etc.).  That, IMO, is a better approach to the current question.  It
should be enough to help newbies along by providing menu acceleration.  We
should not need to provide all of the window-mgr keys they are used to, by

(Yes, I realize (a) that these are different things and (b) that the user still
needs to find `Delete Frame' or `Quit' in the Emacs `File' menu.)

Not to mention that Windows newbies still have the little window-mgr menu from
the upper left of the title bar (whatever it's called) to do things like close a
window-mgr window.  How much do we need to reproduce the outside-Emacs
environment for Emacs newbies?  There are enough ways to delete a window-mgr

Just one opinion.

> The new user maybe doesn't know that she can make new key
> bindings herself and even if she knows she *can* make new
> bindings, maybe she doesn't know what command to bind it to.

Emacs is a dish you learn to appreciate.  MacDo it isn't.  There is no royal or
fast-food road to fine cuisine, fine music, or anything else rich and deep.

> save-buffers-kill-terminal probably isn't what first comes to mind.

Gee, and I thought that Alt-f4 just deleted the window.  Or do you want a
Windows (KDE, Gnome) key for closing/killing the app as well?

> 4. No one is saying we should bind M-f4 because it is unused. It's
> just that it could have a very useful default binding for Windows
> users which just happens to be unused today.

OK, good.  But there are plenty more "very useful default bindings for Windows
users".  You give Johnny this one by default and he thinks it's unfair that you
don't also give him that one.  And he's got a point there...

That's the way Johnny is (like the rest of us).  Better he should learn Emacs.

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