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Re: basic question: going back to dired

From: Xah
Subject: Re: basic question: going back to dired
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2008 23:04:13 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

I don't think its a good idea to teach or insist that people adopt
emacs's terminologies.

In particular, the term buffer is unsuitable and outdated. See the
following argument:


Q: The Terminology “buffer” and “keybinding” is good as they are.

The terminology “buffer” or “keybinding”, are technical terms having
to do with software programing. The term “keybinding” refers to the
association of a keystroke with a command in a technical, software
application programing context. That is to say, a programer “bind” a
keystroke event to a command in a software application. The term
“buffer” refers to a abstract, temporary area for storing data, in the
context of programing or computer science.

These terms are irrelevant to the users of a software application.

As a user of a text editor, he works with files. The terms “opened
file” or “untitled file” are more appropriate than “buffer”. Since
emacs is also used for many things beside reading files or writing to
files, for example, file management, ftp/sftp, shell, email, irc etc.,
the proper term can be “panel”, “window”, or “work area”. (All modern
editors and IDEs use these terms, even though they are all buffers

And, the term “keyboard shortcut” refers to typing of a key-
combination to activate a command. It is also more appropriate than
“binding” or “keybinding”.

Although concepts like “buffer” and “keybinding” are seemingly
interchangeable with “panel” or “keyboard shortcut”, but their
contexts set them apart. This is why in all modern software
application's user documentations, terms like “buffer” or “keybinding”
are not to be seen but “windows, panes, tabs, workspace, and keyboard

The reason emacs uses the technical terminologies throughout is
because when emacs started in the 1980s, there really isn't any other
text editors or even software applications. And, emacs users are all
computer scientists and programers.

Note that Emacs does officially recognize the term Keyboard Shortcut.
The following is a excerpt from glossary section of the official emacs
manual from emacs 22:

Keyboard Shortcut
     A keyboard shortcut is a key sequence (q.v.) which invokes a
     command. What some programs call "assigning a keyboard shortcut,"
     Emacs calls "binding a key sequence."  See `binding.'


from “Modernization of Emacs”



On Jul 21, 4:21 pm, Bastien <address@hidden> wrote:
> Ben Aurel <address@hidden> writes:
> > My question is simple: When I list some files in dired mode I select one
> > file to edit. Now how can I close this file and go back to dired without
> > closing emacs?
> Don't think in terms of "file".  When editing a "file", you really edit
> a buffer* containing the content of the file.  To "close" the file
> generally means to save the buffer and to kill the buffer.
> If you just want to "go back" to dired, you just need to switch back to
> the buffer containing the directory listing: C-x b RET
> If you want to "close the file", then first save the buffer with C-x C-s
> then kill the buffer with C-x k RET and you should be back to the buffer
> containing the directory listing.
> HTH,
> * Press `C-x C-e' after the closing parenthesis to jump to the info page
>   describing the concept of "buffer" inside GNU Emacs:
>   (info "(emacs)Buffers")
> --
> Bastien

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