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Re: How does the Meta/Alt-Key work behind the scenes?

From: William Gardella
Subject: Re: How does the Meta/Alt-Key work behind the scenes?
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2012 12:51:53 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.2 (gnu/linux)

Hi Thorsten,

Thorsten Jolitz <> writes:

> Stefan Monnier <> writes:
>>> However, I was told to hardcode the Meta/Alt-Keybindings as ESC-key
>>> sequences, e.g. '^[', wait 500, then 'f', so that they can either be
>>> used as 'ALT-f' or as 'ESC f'. But only the latter (very uncomfortable)
>>> option works for me, and any keybindings that include the SHIFT key
>>> don't work at all.
>> What does "don't work" mean?
> Maybe I asked to early since further testing revealed that it is not a
> general problem but a problem of some keys only: 
> When I use 'C-%' (^% = C-S-5 on my keyboard) which should execute the
> command 'go to next parenthesis' then in xterm '%' is (self)inserted, on
> the console nothing happens. But 'C-_' (^_ = C-S-- on my keyboard)
> executes 'undo' as expected in xterm and on the console. 
> So I would like to withdraw my question for now - sorry for the noise.  

TTY keys are complicated, and really limit the ability of an application
like Emacs to use its bucky bits.  Some chords that are valid in a
window system are not valid in a console (or in a terminal emulator
under normal circumstances, which acts like a console).  See
e.g. and to get a feel for what is
possible and what is missing.


I use grml (

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