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Re: Some developement questions

From: Ergus
Subject: Re: Some developement questions
Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2018 19:50:52 +0200
User-agent: NeoMutt/20180716

On Sat, Sep 01, 2018 at 07:40:48PM +0200, hw wrote:
Davis Herring <address@hidden> writes:

> > > > And I don't remember how to get back when following links in
> > > > info documentation
> > > > > > You can type 'l' (for "last"), or use the left arrow button on
> > > the tool bar, or click on "Info" in the menu bar and select
> > > "Back in History", or click on Info->History and select any node
> > > you visited at random.
> > > > Ah! I remembered something about arrows and tried to use the
> > cursor keys --- how about making it so that you can go back and
> > forth in info with Alt+<Cursor> like you can do in web browsers?
> > There is the usual issue of Emacs' traditional keybindings clashing
> with those from other (usually newer) domains: Alt generally meaning
> Meta, M-left/M-right are already used for backward-/forward-word.

Meta seems to be ESC.  Alt doesn't do anything like what ESC does, and
I inevitably have two entirely different Alt keys because I'm using a
German keyboard.

Some key combinations that require some combination of Meta and
Control do not work at all.

Who would ever press ESC-right or ESC-left to move a word?

Hm, ok, I tried Alt, and it now does work, at least in an X frame.
Only the Alt key is on the wrong side of the keyboard, as is ESC, to
be useful for moving.

Since when does Alt work the same as ESC?

Alt and ESC in fact doesn't work exactly the same way .

Alt is Meta so it acts as a modifiers; so you need to press it
simultaneously with some other (ex: M-x) to send anything. This is not
emacs this is related with vt*** and traditiona ascii codes.

ESC on the other hand is not a modifier; so it is not needed to press
both keys at the time and you can press one after the other as a
sequence (ex: ESC x)

> Of course, we also have M-b/M-f for those, but the point is that
> such changes do not come without cost.  You are free to argue
> something along the lines of "For the future userbase of Emacs,
> consistency with the rest of the world is important enough to change
> X.", but that's quite a bit different from "how about...?".

The issue in this case is not traditional key bindings vs. more
recently invented ones.  The issue is that I very rarely use info and
thus do not remember its key bindings.  Does the help page I got stuck
in say anywhere how to get back?

Why shouldn't Emacs adjust to changes and adopt new key bindings so it
becomes easier to use?

There have been many tries for this, so you have many options to test:

- cua-mode: https://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/CuaMode

- ergoemacs: http://ergoemacs.github.io/

- god-mode: https://github.com/chrisdone/god-mode

- evil, vile and the rest of vim emulation packages.

- And in spacemacs there is something new called hybrid
 mode. http://spacemacs.org/doc/DOCUMENTATION

As you can see there are many different criteria about what is "better".

On the other hand, I also agree that sometimes dealing with keybindings
is a problem ( ex: C-i, C-?, C-: ) for that reason many new users use
evil mode more and more (in spite of the modes changes designs are
annoying and non intuitive).

The extension of evil mode was, in fact, one of the reasons why I made
some of the initial questions when started this thread. To ease the
initial experience for new times, new users, new standards. Because it
is possible in emacs... but after a lot of configuration.

A good point in favor is that Emacs keybindings are the one by default
in bash and many gui applications because the alternative is to make
everything modal.

> > I have menu and toolbar disabled ...

The menu and tool bar are in fact examples of the emacs adaptations to
changes. Hardcore users disable them because they want a clean
screen... or a vim like experience. But it is there for a reason,
specially when it is a new user.

In a gui interaction problems with keybinds are avoided in part because
no terminal filters the commands you sent to emacs and because the
options are available with the mouse and the menus.

I use emacs always in the terminal because of my work and the better or
worse behavior strongly depends if I am using xterm, gnome-terminal or
termite... but that's not an emacs issue. (For example binding C-i was a
harder task to what I expected, and I only could do it with xterm). Make
everything gui and terminal compatible with everything new and backward
compatible is very difficult, specially after 30 years.

> > Complaining about navigability and discoverability of an interface
> while having disabled its most discoverable features meant to guide
> new users is a strange combination.

I'm pointing out a usability issue and you call it complaining.  That
must be the right attitude.

Fine, I'll give vim a try.

OK, if you just want an editor, you don't plan to extend it or
personalize..., just follow the editor's rules, you can deal with the
mode changes constantly... go for it, it is a good editor, but only
that, an editor.

Then try to change any default keybinding in vim design.... propose
that... good look...

I came from there a long time ago. They are still with hjkl as
arrows. And using the real arrows is a kind of capital sin with no
serious arguments...

PS: I tried vim in the meantime, and I'll probably switch.

You are free :)

> > Basically, I want to use the Emacs server the usual way how you
> > use any server, like a web server or an ssh server or an XMPP
> > server.
> > Or an X server, which is attached to the hardware that faces the
> user?  There's more than one way to think of the word.

I don't want it to use like an X server, and there are always many
ways to think of all words.

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