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RE: Unuseful keybindings

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Unuseful keybindings
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 20:39:01 -0800

> As for the <f11> keybinding, AFAICT that is becoming the 
> standard "full screen" key in many applications;

So what?  Many applications are not Emacs.

And many applications do not use keys the same way.  Emacs uses all kinds of
keys in all kinds of ways.  Repeatable keys like `f11' are scarce resources.
Same for potential prefix keys.  Cherish them - you might need them someday.

Such virgin keys should not be squandered on whatever "many applications" might
be using them for today or whatever might seem to be "becoming the standard".
Not without other, better reasons.

In 1955, coonskin caps were becoming the standard for 5-year olds.  They had so
much fad power that they bought Walt his dreamt-of Disneyland.  Where is that
standard today?  Becoming the standard, indeed.

> since we don't use it for anything else,

Irrelevant.  We can and we might use it for something else someday.  Something
better.  Think of the future and leave room for it; leave its way open.

Don't jump at the first offer to swap your jewels for something standard.  Emacs
can be better than standard; it has always been so.

> and it doesn't conflict with the existing Emacs user interface,

The existing Emacs interface is a snapshot, a flash in the river.  It is Emacs
the river that deserves more care and respect, not some momentary flash.

> it is good to follow the convention.

Stuff & nonsense.  It is good to look out for Emacs - we are its guardians.  It
lives in a world of chaos and convention.  Neither the chaos nor any convention
has special pull, nor should it have.

It is good to follow a convention when it is also good for Emacs, for other
reasons.  Richard chanted that mantra a thousand times.  It is not about
following for following's sake.  That is as true for art & technique as it is
for politics.

With your reasoning, Emacs would have cast all its keys in bronze back in the
bronze age.  And today we would have no useful prefix keys, no handy repeatable
keys, no mnemonic keys, no crazy key combinations.  No keyboard magic or melody.

Emacs would today be as standard as moth-eaten coonskin caps left over from
Walt's first gold-pan marketing flash.

It's about the long haul, not snatching up everything that is not nailed down
and that we do not yet "use for anything else".

"Not yet used for anything else!"  Echoes of wilderness clearers - settlers and
their standard-bearers.  The keyboard is not a new land to be grabbed and
quickly parceled out.  It's not about staking claims.

Emacs can do without an `f11' "full-screen" toggle, thank you very much.

If Emacs ever gets the "true full screen mode" command you seek, users can bind
it to `f11' or whatever else they like.  Emacs need not stoop to that in the
name of standardization.

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