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Re: Unuseful keybindings

From: Thierry Volpiatto
Subject: Re: Unuseful keybindings
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2012 07:32:23 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.130006 (Ma Gnus v0.6) Emacs/24.2.91 (gnu/linux)

"Drew Adams" <address@hidden> writes:

>> Can't you just rebind these keys? I mean, you would
>> have to do that anyway, to use them for your purposes, right?
> Yes, but the fact that users can do that is never a good enough reason _on its
> own_ for Emacs Dev to sacrifice a particular key sequence for a default 
> binding.
> For one thing, the very fact that there exists a default key binding sometimes
> dissuades libraries from binding the key sequence, because some user will 
> holler
> bloody hell that the library steps on a default key binding, even if using the
> library is a voluntary act, and even if the user can override the library
> binding.
> No, there is nothing wrong with a user or a library doing that, but some 
> people
> overly respect what they see as the established order, even though Emacs 
> points
> out in its doc that you are free to customize etc.  Somehow, default key
> bindings can tend, for some people, to take on a sacred aura.
> An additional rationale was given in this case, however, I believe.  IIRC
> (excuse me if I remember incorrectly), this was it: many people use it outside
> Emacs for the same (or a similar) thing.
> I find that particular rationale quite weak, if it stands alone.  Yes, it has
> _some_ merit, but there can be much stronger, internal-consistency or
> user-behavior reasons for Emacs to bind a given key sequence by default.
> For one thing, a key such as `f11' is repeatable, so it is preferable not to
> waste it on a command/action that is not repeatable by just holding down the
> key.  Most possible key sequences (e.g. `C-x r l') are not repeatable, and we
> should make best use of those that are.  Repeatable keys are a scarce 
> resource,
> to be treasured and put to wise use.
> We first went down this silly path when we bound `f3' and `f4' - not too long
> ago.  That was a big mistake, IMHO.  Or was `f10' prior?
> Well, you could even argue that the first such abuse was binding `f1', but 
> there
> are a lot more people who know and use `f1' for help outside Emacs than there
> are that use `f11'.  Plus, `f1' is precisely for getting help.  There is a 
> much
> stronger case to be made for sacrificing `f1' than `f3', `f4', `f10', or 
> `f11',
> IMO.
> It used to be that Emacs made an effort to stay away from binding function 
> keys.
> Alas, that boat sailed long ago.


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