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Re: Unuseful keybindings

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: Unuseful keybindings
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2012 18:41:40 +0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:17.0) Gecko/17.0 Thunderbird/17.0

On 23.12.2012 4:45, Drew Adams wrote:
Do the existing bindings for <f10> and <f1-4> take the
"properties" you mention seriously?

No, which is why I brought up the _general_ topic - and I explicitly mentioned
each of those keys too.  I would like to see us stop making such silly default
bindings (and even free up some of them).  Emacs Dev did not used to do that
kind of thing.

We never should have bound those function keys, IMHO, with (probably) the
exception of `f1', which has more in the way of supporting argument.

Well, that's my point. None of the current f-key bindings take into account repeatability, so you asking not to bind f11 for that reason doesn't sound very convincing, and goes against consistency. I'd certainly prefer if different f-keys were bound or not bound on the same principle.

The possible reason why those keys are so nice and still mostly have no bindings is they are far from the home row, so the expectation is they can only be used for one-off commands, not in a sequence in the middle of other commands during an editing session.

`f10' started the do-it-without-discussion trend, IIRC.  I opposed binding `f3'
& `f4' at the time.  I do not recall any discussion about `f10', but I might
have missed it.

There is absolutely no reason for Emacs to bind `f3' and `f4' by default.  Emacs
has had keyboard macros practically from Day One.  Zillions of Emacs users
created zillions of keyboard macros, without Emacs Dev ever feeling that we
should waste binding simple, repeatable keys to their creation and execution.

These keys are featured on the Emacs tour page, so there's no getting rid of them now, I suppose.

Or consider `f5', which often refreshes/revert the current context, outside
Emacs.  I myself bind `f5' to a command that does (revert-buffer t t).  And I've
suggested to others that they might want to do the same.  But I don't propose
that Emacs adopt that convention by default, even though I use it all the time.
And when I suggest it to others, I add this caveat, just to draw their attention
to the fact that it wastes a repeatable key:


I don't think this command is generally useful enough.

The only kind of file that might need frequent refreshing I can imagine is a log file, and if you're viewing one of those in Emacs, you'd also have to scroll to the bottom each time.

As for infrequent refreshing (including the situation when you need to revert many files at once), global-auto-revert-mode is much better in my experience, and it doesn't require a special action from the user.

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