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Re: Meta and Alt confusion in the manual

From: Sascha Wilde
Subject: Re: Meta and Alt confusion in the manual
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2006 21:40:29 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Lennart Borgman <address@hidden> wrote:

> In "(emacs) Symbol Completion" (31.8):
>       The character `M-<TAB>' runs a command to complete the partial
>    symbol before point against the set of meaningful symbol names.  This
>    command inserts at point any additional characters that it can
>    determine from the partial name.  (If your window manager defines
>    `M-<TAB>' to switch windows, you can type `<ESC> <TAB>' or `C-M-i'.)
> The window manager of course does not use M-<TAB>. It uses
> Alt-<TAB>.

Things are even more complicated: many window managers I know don't
think in Terms of Alt or Meta, but use Mod1 true Mod5 as modifier
(sic!) keys.  The modifiers can be assigned to virtually any key (even
more than one) under X11.  Mod1 is set to Alt_L on most default X11
installations (at least on common x86 hardware).  Many window managers
use Mod1 as default modifier, so they actually use Alt in many cases,
buts that kind of a coincidence, too.

> Meta is Emacs specific and could be on another keyboard key than
> Alt.

Ack, I wouldn't say Meta is "Emacs specific" though.

> I think this should be corrected to avoid confusion.

I think the actual technical facts (window manager might use Mod1
which might be Alt per default, which might be used as Meta by Emacs)
are a bit confusing.  I'm not sure if telling all this to the user is
less confusing than the current text.


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