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Re: alt-tab? really? you're joking...

From: Tassilo Horn
Subject: Re: alt-tab? really? you're joking...
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2015 10:51:13 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.130012 (Ma Gnus v0.12) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

incal <> writes:

>> To me <C-M-i> isn't more difficult to type (in a
>> way, it is easier/better as the left index finger
>> can remain at <f>)

As many keys, that depends on your keyboard layout.  I use a German
variant of the Dvorak layout, and then `C-M-i' basically means pressing
three keys with the left hand.

> Without the configuration, <M-tab> translates to
> <C-M-i> in the Linux VTs.
> Those keys are both very good, so why have them do the
> same thing? It is a waste.

Because those keys are the same on older terminals.

,----[ (info "(emacs)Named ASCII Chars") ]
| <TAB>, <RET>, <BS>, <LFD>, <ESC> and <DEL> started out as names for
| certain ASCII control characters, used so often that they have special
| keys of their own.  For instance, <TAB> was another name for ‘C-i’.
| Later, users found it convenient to distinguish in Emacs between these
| keys and the “same” control characters typed with the <Ctrl> key.
| Therefore, on most modern terminals, they are no longer the same: <TAB>
| is different from ‘C-i’.
|    Emacs can distinguish these two kinds of input if the keyboard does.
| It treats the “special” keys as function keys named ‘tab’, ‘return’,
| ‘backspace’, ‘linefeed’, ‘escape’, and ‘delete’.  These function keys
| translate automatically into the corresponding ASCII characters _if_
| they have no bindings of their own.  As a result, neither users nor Lisp
| programs need to pay attention to the distinction unless they care to.
|    If you do not want to distinguish between (for example) <TAB> and
| ‘C-i’, make just one binding, for the ASCII character <TAB> (octal code
| 011).  If you do want to distinguish, make one binding for this ASCII
| character, and another for the “function key” ‘tab’.
|    With an ordinary ASCII terminal, there is no way to distinguish
| between <TAB> and ‘C-i’ (and likewise for other such pairs), because the
| terminal sends the same character in both cases.

So you may define different commands for `C-M-i' and <M-tab> but then on
a Linux VT, the `C-M-i' binding will be executed for both pressing
`C-M-i' and for "Meta+TAB".


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