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Re: I am confused: why Emacs keybindings in OS X?

From: Robert Thorpe
Subject: Re: I am confused: why Emacs keybindings in OS X?
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2016 01:55:04 +0000

Alan <> writes:

> 1. Emacs is hardly found in any GNU/Linux distro, except if installed
> by oneself.  Yet, in OS X, it is there, ready to go.  ????  What is
> the history of this?

In some ways this is because GNU/Linux distros target less powerful
machines.  People often complain about the size of the base install, so
many distro try to keep it small.  There also the complexity of the
directory structure, which is more important that bytes of hard disk
used in my view.

OS X gives you Emacs 22, which was the last version to use GPL 2.

> 2. On OS X, Emacs keybindings (or what I call Emacs Keybindings) for
> navigation, at least, are ubiquitous.  (And the iMac keyboard is much
> more comfortable to type on that a similar laptop keyboard from a
> Thinkpad.)  Yet, Emacs on OS X, at least in my case, does not adhere
> to the same keybindings as closely is on Linux.  WTF?!

I think that's mostly because of the readline library.  It defines
keybindings similar to Emacs in lots of situations.  In OS X which ones
were you thinking of?

Incidentally, some Emacs keybindings can also be enabled for Gnome
applications and for Firefox, you can read on the web about how to do

Robert Thorpe

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