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Re: What does 'run' do in cperl-mode?

From: Xah
Subject: Re: What does 'run' do in cperl-mode?
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2008 18:41:59 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Jul 25, 5:33 pm, "Lennart Borgman (gmail)"
<address@hidden> wrote:

> Why should the documentation call Meta for Alt when it is not Alt? In
> for example the patched version of Emacs+EmacsW32 it is possible to use
> left and/or right windows keys as Meta. I guess a lot of people do that.

Standard and familiarity is important. Going by tech details, each app
will argue about the superiority of their terminology to no ends.

For example, Linux's KDE and Gnome largely adated all Windows's terms.
Left mouse button, right mouse button, instead of some 1st button or
2nd button (which emacs still use). Desktop, instad of various “Window
Managers” or “File managers” (or Directory Editor in older days).
Keyboard shortcut, as apposed to keybinding. File alias or File
shortcut, as opposed to Hard Link, Soft Link. Folders, as opposed to
Directory. File names, as opposed to File ID (older unix term)... etc.

Bottom line is that words and terms change with time, in computing as
well in science. Most tech geekers likes to associate “modern” with
“Microsoft” which they hate. But if we want to be hardcore, lots of
emacs's terms is invented by itself and not logical.

The following is a excerpt from the Wikipedia article on Common User


    CUA was a detailed specification and set strict rules about how
applications should look and function. Its aim was in part to bring
about harmony between MS-DOS applications, which until then had
implemented totally different user interfaces.


        * In WordPerfect, the command to open a file was [F7], [3].
        * In Lotus 1-2-3, a file was opened with [/] (to open the
menus), [W] (for Workspace), [R] (for Retrieve).
        * In Microsoft Word, a file was opened with [Esc] (to open the
menus), [T] (for Transfer), [L] (for Load).
        * In WordStar, it was [Ctrl]+[K]+[O].
        * In Emacs, a file was opened with [Ctrl]+[x] followed by
[Ctrl]+[f] (for find-file).

    Some programs used [Esc] to cancel an action, some used it to
complete one; WordPerfect used it to repeat a character. Some programs
used [End] to go to the end of a line, some used it to complete
filling in a form. [F1] was often help but in WordPerfect that was
[F3]. [Ins] sometimes toggled between overtype and inserting
characters, but some programs used it for “paste”.

    Thus, every program had to be learned individually and its
complete user interface memorized. It was a sign of expertise to have
learned the UIs of dozens of applications, since a novice user facing
a new program would find their existing knowledge of a similar
application absolutely no use whatsoever.


Who is to say, that the DOS era (~1990) of Microsoft Word's system of
shortcuts is not consistent and superior and more extensible than the
modern Ctrl+‹key› ones? Heck, it even used the words “Transfer” and
“Load”, which describes the technical detail of what's happening more
correctly than the popular “Open”.


The purpose of a standard, or standard terminology and notation, is so
that everyone understands it without having to spend time on app xyz.
There are always drawbacks with one particular way, but overall
standards do good for all.

> The advantage is that you can use the menus the same way as you are used
> to in other w32 programs.
> I think it is much better to clearly tell new users the distinction.
> They will need to know it at least on w32 from the beginning, cause
> otherwise they will get confused by that the menus does not work (if
> they use Alt as Meta).

Emacs features remains they are. Any user can easily learn and use all
the features as before.


Even technically, Meta is just wrong. There is no Meta key except Sun
Microsystem's keyboard with perhaps 0.0001% market share.

Emacs did not adapt the changing landscape of computing industry, and
emacs suffers greatly for it today, with dwindling user base (possibly
just 1% of professional programers) while all sort of less power IDEs
and editors sprang up even today (e.g. in recent years TextMate ($63
USD)) with large number of enthuisastic users who basically has no
idea what power or flexiblity emacs has.

PS previous post on “Emacs's M-‹key› Notation vs Alt+‹key› Notation”
is now archived here:


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