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RE: M-= in Dired

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: M-= in Dired
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 15:52:39 -0700

> > It would be far better to bind `count-words-region' to 
> > something like `C-x M-=', and thus keep `M-=' free.
> Or make `C-x =' a prefix key
> for a keymap with more keybindings for
> counting commands like count-words, count-lines-page,
> count-lines-region, count-matches, what-cursor-position,
> what-page, what-line.

Sure, `C-x =' or `C-x M-=' or whatever else doesn't waste a repeatable key.

Given the wealth of info that `C-x =' currently returns, even without `C-u', I
don't tend to think of it as counting things, but you could certainly make such
an argument, especially for purposes of grouping keys.

I tend to think of `C-x =' as describing (a character and a position), more than
as counting.  I put it in a class with `C-h f', `C-h v', `C-h c', `C-h k',...
But I also appreciate the `=' mnemonic for the current position.

So I second your suggestion to lump `what-cursor-position' with the other
commands you mention, on the same prefix key.  In general, I'm in favor of that
kind of thing.

Let's free up a great key like `M-=' for better things to come - and _leave_ it
free until we find something that really merits it.

> As for finding a key to rebind `M-=' in Dired, I wonder why couldn't
> `C-x v =' call `diff-backup' (or `dired-backup-diff' in 
> Dired) in case when it can't find a VC backend?

Maybe; why not?  Is there rarely a need to use `diff-backup' when a VC backend
is available?  Dunno.

On the other hand, would it be confusing to a user to not realize which command
(`vc-diff' or `diff-backup') is being used here?  And `C-x v' is generally for
VC stuff - this would present an exception in some contexts.

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