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Re: Text selection can't be erased by pressing delete

From: Gabriel TEIXEIRA
Subject: Re: Text selection can't be erased by pressing delete
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2010 19:35:41 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100713 Thunderbird/3.0.6

On 20/08/2010 18:42, Bob Proulx wrote:
Gabriel TEIXEIRA wrote:
I've been working with three simultaneous emacs windows, each one
containing a diferent project, and I noticed that two of those three are
presenting a weird behaviour.
On what system are you running emacs?  Is this GNU/Unix, Cygwin, MSYS,
other?  Running in a terminal window, or under a X11, or other native

It is under Ubuntu Linux 10.04 x64 in the graphics mode.
When I select a text in those windows (like by pushing Shift and
then the arrow keys), and then I push the key Delete, I expect that
the selected/highlighted text be erased, but instead, it erases a
single character to the left of the cursor (like would happen
without the selection) and the selection disappears (although the
same operation works with Backspace or Shift+Delete normally).  It
seems that the Delete key is not anymore aware of the text
That would be the "normal" traditional behavior of Emacs on Unix
machines for all of time prior to the recent introduction of Microsoft
key bindings.

Which I think is a good behaviour since the delete key is just above the arrow keys in my keyboard while the backspace is a little further. Since I do selections using Shift + arrows, the delete lies just within the range of my middle finger, while the backspace would need to elevate the entire hand up to there, so I prefer use the delete. Besides the fact that I can just select the text and overwrite it directly.
It is even more weird the fact that this doesn't happen with the
window that I opened the last and the other windows that I opened
after to check the behaviour. I seems that emacs "wears" after some
time opened.
That does seem strange that it would change behavior depending upon
whether you have launched subsequent emacs processes.

As I told already, maybe I mistyped something that led to this behaviour. Those instances are opened for weeks and the behaviour appeared after some days. I would like to know how to resolve this without doing the Microsoft solution (restarting emacs), which works, but lose all the layout of windows and the undo history.
Anyone have any idea of what's this? Is this a bug or I typed
accidentaly any command that triggers this behaviour?
I do not use CUA mode but the behavior makes me wonder if something is
causing it to be enabled and then disabled somehow.

What is the behavior when using emacs without customizations?

   emacs -q

It behaves in the "normal" mode, no deletion with delete
And without any initialization?

   emacs -Q

The same, 'course.
Thinking that there must be something in the initialization that is
behaving undesirably.
More likely to be any crazy (or lazy) finger of mine, but I leave the hypotesys of "time wear", like a bug caused by any memory leak, overflowed counter or command that is disabling the mode unexpectedly (which I think is very unlikely).

Thanks for the advice about the cua-mode. I gave a read to the page and when I did M-x cua-mode, it got back to my favourite mode! Now I must figure out which command sequence is disabling the cua-mode in order that I don't do this anymore. I think that ad infinitum I will stop doing those mistakes. I noticed that emacs commands are easy to mistake one for another while typing, like, in an AZERTY kb, the C-x (one of the most used) for the C-w (after I deleted 100 lines of c code and saved the file unaware of that. By luck, I had a copy in the CVS).

Gabriel Teixeira

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