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Re: master 859190f 2/3: Convert some keymaps to defvar-keymap

From: Lars Ingebrigtsen
Subject: Re: master 859190f 2/3: Convert some keymaps to defvar-keymap
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2021 22:22:52 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/29.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Stefan Kangas <stefankangas@gmail.com> writes:

> Aha.  Now I understand the argument.  But surely that's pretty minor,
> given that we can just document this difference?  People might
> appreciate the easier to read syntax many times more than they will
> struggle with this minor additional complexity.

Well, we have a bunch of different key syntaxes, and two of them are
strings and therefore aren't marked as syntactically different.

> It seems somewhat unfortunate to me that we are effectively doubling
> down on the mistakes of the past.  I'd rather take one step forward now,
> in the hope that we can do something about "define-key" later.

I don't think that's a forlorn hope.  We'd have to introduce a new

> I suggest that we would do better, and perhaps partially pre-empt such a
> development, by taking a pro-active stance with a new construct like
> `define-keymap'.

In the current Emacs tree, we have >7K instances of define-key with a
string as a parameter, and 441 with (kbd ...).  If `kbd' had made
greater headway in the...  decades since it was added, then it would
have been a more obvious choice to go for the kbd syntax in
define-keymap, but it hasn't -- it's not obvious that "C-c C-c" is a
better syntax than "\C-c\C-c" from the usage stats.

(domestic pets only, the antidote for overdose, milk.)
   bloggy blog: http://lars.ingebrigtsen.no

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