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Re: C-x &

From: Michael Albinus
Subject: Re: C-x &
Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2018 21:17:58 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Drew Adams <address@hidden> writes:

Hi Drew,

>> And of course, "C-x &" invokes a command. 
> Yes. But invoking a command is not being a command.

Yes. I haven't said otherwise, at least in my last email.

>> This is equivalent to "M-x universal-async-argument". 
> Presumably you mean that using key sequence `C-x &' is equivalent to
> using `M-x universal-async-argument'. That's another way of saying
> that `C-x &' invokes command `universal-async-argument'.
> If you wanted to call command `universal-async-argument' a "prefix
> command" you could do so. But `C-x &' is not a prefix command or any
> other kind of command.

I haven't said that `C-x &' is any kind of command, at least in my last

>> So I don't see what's wrong with "prefix command" - it is a command
>> which precedes another command.
> Command `universal-async-argument', when invoked, precedes invocation
> of the command bound to the key sequence read by
> `universal-asyn-argument'. Yes.
> And using `C-x &' precedes reading of that second key sequence. But
> neither of those things make `C-x &' into a command, prefix, postfix,
> or *fix.

Again, I haven't said that `C-x &' is a command, in my last email.

Let's agree the obvious: `universal-async-argument' is a command, by
default bound to the key sequences `C-x &' and `M-x  u n i v e r s a l -
a s y n c - a r g u m e n t RET.'

The only raison d'être of `universal-async-argument' is to read another
key sequence, which invokes the command bound to that key sequence. This
means, the command `universal-async-argument' always precedes another
command, which I call a prefix in my understanding. Therefore, I've
proposed to call `universal-async-argument' a "prefix command".

The Emacs manual distinguishes between commands and the key (sequence) a
command is bound to. But it explicitely says, that both could be used

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
   In this manual, we will often speak of keys like ‘C-n’ as commands,
even though strictly speaking the key is bound to a command.
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

See (info "(emacs) Commands")

So it would be also allowed to speak about the key sequence `C-x &' as a
command, but I don't insist on this if it makes you feel bad.

Best regards, Michael.

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