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Re: M-=

From: Chong Yidong
Subject: Re: M-=
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 12:05:09 +0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.1 (gnu/linux)

Ulrich Mueller <address@hidden> writes:

> I've noticed that M-= is no longer operating on the region but on the
> whole buffer (i.e. it is bound to count-words instead of
> count-words-region).
> The old behaviour was established for decades and I found it much more
> useful. Can we please have it back?

I made the change because it seemed like a fairly straightforward
improvement, but if the old behavior is generally preferred or the
change is found to be too disruptive, we can certainly revert it.

The rule of thumb is that when transient mark mode is enabled, commands
that are bound to convenient keys ought to act on the region if it is
active, and some other convenient unit of text otherwise.  Examples of
this behavior are M-; and M-$.  There are exceptions: C-w and M-w always
act on the region, because yanking the whole buffer is a relatively rare
operation, and has annoying results if you accidentally trigger it.

Counting words seems like it should fall in the former category
(together with M-; and M-$) rather than the latter (with C-w and M-w).
But maybe you can explain otherwise?

Another possibility is to keep M-= for count-words-region and assign
another convenient key to count-words.  The obvious candidate is C-=,
but unfortunately it is not typable on text terminals.

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