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Re: Rationale behind conversion of a nil prefix arg to numeric 1

From: Florian v. Savigny
Subject: Re: Rationale behind conversion of a nil prefix arg to numeric 1
Date: Mon, 05 Sep 2016 23:39:06 +0200

  > This is really one of the first things that someone writing
  > a command learns. 

Oops. I must confess this did not happen in my case. I have written
commands in Elisp for about 15 years, and I although I was soon
familiar with there somehow being a "raw" prefix arg (meaning I often
read this term in passing), I nevertheless always thought C-u was
simply a way of passing a command a number. (I did not even know that
you can also pass prefix commands typing M-..)

  > It's really not a big deal.  It's a flexible feature and is
  > easy to learn.  Admittedly (like much in Emacs), if you have
  > not yet learned it, and you try to write a command that
  > takes advantage of a prefix arg, then you might be surprised
  > to learn it.  Your surprise should be a welcome one, as you
  > now know what you can do with it.

Absolutely, at least now. Your post has been a very enlightening
lecture indeed, as have the other explanatory posts. (I am wondering
why I never grasped it from the Elisp Manual, but I guess because you
have stated the whys and wherefores, it is much easier for me to store
in memory somewhere.)

Thanks very much to you all!


Florian von Savigny
Melanchthonstr. 41
33615 Bielefeld

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