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

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: Proposal for an improved `help-for-help'
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2021 14:23:09 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/78.7.1

On 25.04.2021 13:38, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
Cc: emacs-devel@gnu.org
From: Dmitry Gutov <dgutov@yandex.ru>
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2021 13:20:00 +0300

On 25.04.2021 10:26, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
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.

I have described an obvious problem: Emacs says press DEL to scroll, the
user presses Del on their keyboard, and Emacs exits instead.

I'm not opposed to finding a solution, I just don't think blindly
replacing each DEL with Backspace is a good solution.

That's not what I suggested there.

We could mention Backspace in the text there, or we could add
PgUp/PgDn, for example

Either/both would be an improvement.

In the graphical Emacs, at least, we could print <backspace> there instead of DEL. That should be unambiguous.

All that in a Help interface, which is supposed to help newbies. Not
grizzled veterans.

You may be surprised to learn that I use that command quite often.

Not really.

But still, the Help interface shouldn't be primarily targeted at people who know most of that stuff already.

I have tried to describe the situation with DEL as I understand it in another email, and probably got it only half right. After using Emacs for a decade and contributing code for a large part of it.

And in any case, we are not going to make veterans, grizzled or not,
unlearn what they have learned long ago, I hope.

Not everything in Emacs is perfect. Sometimes an improvement justifies a breaking change.

It's a real problem, if you want people to actually use this feature.

  > Like making C-f move backwards.

If C-f never did anything in a certain interface, and doing this would
help usability, why not.

But DEL does do something.  And so does Delete.

Abort? That isn't really "doing anything".

And aborting is even less semantic for that key than duplicating Backspace.

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