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Re: Proposal for an improved `help-for-help'

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Proposal for an improved `help-for-help'
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2021 10:26:21 +0300

> From: Stefan Kangas <stefan@marxist.se>
> Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2021 18:48:00 -0500
> Cc: emacs-devel@gnu.org
> > And the target audience of help-for-help is probably at least as
> > ignorant as myself about the difference between DEL and Delete.
> As you say, this is an old problem.  For example `C-h k <backspace>'
> here gives a help screen that cryptically says "DEL (translated from
> <backspace>)".  I suppose most users have no idea what that means, other
> than some vague notion that "DEL is clearly just the same as backspace".

I don't see any good way around this.  This is basic Emacs
terminology, for which we did everything we could to document and
clearly explain what we mean.  Users should master this terminology as
soon as they can, exactly as they need to know what is a "window", a
"buffer", and "yank".  The tutorial introduces this terminology,
including the relation to <Backspace>, for this very reason.

> I would prefer that <backspace> would just be printed as such,
> everywhere.

You can't, because not every keyboard has that key.  And because users
still can confuse that with the BS (a.k.a. "C-h") key.  And because we
have normal-erase-is-backspace-mode.

> > Perhaps the easiest fix would be to handle Delete same as Backspace here.
> Yes, that could alleviate the problem in this particular case.

Please don't, that would be a horribly wrong change.  Like making C-f
move backwards.

(Sometimes I wish there were some things in Emacs that would be
considered immutable, to the degree that even talking about changing
them is unimaginable.  Unrealistic, I know, but one can hope.)

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