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RE: [External] : New key binding syntax

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: [External] : New key binding syntax
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2021 16:25:43 +0000

rs> > > I also wonder if there could be confusion between M-RET
rs> > > and M-<return> if the former can be written M-ret and
rs> > > the latter can me written M-return.
rs> da> There's no confusion.  (And the former cannot be
rs> da> written M-ret.)
rs> As long as we keep the rule that the special control character
rs> names must be upper case, and  function key names must be
rs> lower-case,I think it will avoid confusion.

Those few exceptions have been baked into Emacs "forever".
If we don't make those particular exceptions then we'll
anyway need some way to disambiguate those named control
keys from arbitrarily named (or predefined) function keys.

We could of course force the use of `C-i' etc., but why
not stick with allowing the names?  (Or alternatively,
names such as CR for RET/C-m, LF for newline/C-j, etc.)
And of course SPC is not a "control char" - and there's
no special abbreviation/name for it (decimal 32).

But discussing this is really, I think, orthogonal to
dropping the need for angle brackets.  It's not the use
of angle brackets that distinguishes <RET> from <ret> or
<TAB> from <tab>.

And we already support dropping angle brackets from those
named ASCII control chars - the brackets are optional:
(kbd "<SPC>") = (kbd "SPC").  (The only exception is TAB,
and that's precisely bug #12535: it should be treated
like the others.)

rs> I think someone proposed to eliminate that rule.

I think you're right.  But I can't keep up with
everything that's been proposed, in this thread and
others, that might affect this.  Likewise, with
everything that might already be happening to Emacs in
this regard.

I responded to your request for ideas/opinions about
maybe having a new key binding syntax.  Almost no one
else answered your call for that.  I suspect the steam
roller is just steaming ahead, regardless of what we
write in this thread.  Might as well write it anyway,
at least for "la petite histoire".

sk> > Of course, if we cared deeply about readability
sk> > we would write instead: Alt + Return

rs> If we stick to that rule, we would want to write `alt'
rs> and `return'.  Allowing spaces inside a single key
rs> name would definitely be confusing as long as space
rs> separates keys in a key sequence.

Our current convention has no such ambiguity; we use
<SPC> or SPC to represent a space char in a key
description.  To me, that's just fine, and it's
important to be able to use space chars to separate
keys of a key sequence, in a key description.

rs> But we could allow `alt-return' as an alternative
rs> to `a-return'.

I don't see any advantage to allowing that.

rs> I see no benefit in allowing `+' as a synonym for `-'.

Nor do I (was that actually proposed somewhere?).

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