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Re: Slightly OT: Where are keycodes defined for emacs -nw in X-Windows?

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Slightly OT: Where are keycodes defined for emacs -nw in X-Windows?
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 10:16:00 +0000
User-agent: tin/1.4.5-20010409 ("One More Nightmare") (UNIX) (Linux/2.0.35 (i686))

Thomas Dickey <> wrote on 26 Oct 2003 16:15:57
> Alan Mackenzie <none@example.invalid> wrote:

>> On my xterm, the modifier keys get filtered out, so that C-up and up
>> degenerate into the same event sequence.  :-(

>      The xterm program is a terminal emulator for  the  X  Window
>      System.  It provides DEC VT102 and Tektronix 4014 compatible
>      terminals for programs that  can't  use  the  window  system
>      directly.   If the underlying operating system supports terminal
>      resizing capabilities (for example, the SIGWINCH  signal  in
>      systems  derived  from  4.3bsd), xterm will use the facilities to
>      notify programs running in the window whenever it is resized.

> a vt102, you may recall, doesn't have modifiers...

Well, funnily enough, in the twenty years since I last used one, that
fact seemed to have slipped my mind.  ;-)  The next question, of course,
is why on earth are we emulating a VT102, when "we" just want a command
line window?  Maybe I should look for a different emulator, "linux-term"
(or whatever).

>> <rant mode>
>> [... several frustrating hours later ... ].  The documentation of
>> xterm is of lesser quality than that of Emacs.  As well as its
>> man-page, I've

> xterm is (fortunately) smaller than Emacs, but it is documented.

> if you read the manpage, you may notice this near the end:

>      resize(1), stty(1), tty(1), tty(7), X11(7),
>      Xterm Control Sequences

>> got an introductory users' guide to X (a book).  It goes on and on and
>> on about the syntax of "resources" (whatever they are), but doesn't
>> seem to

> start with man X11.

I Haven't got it.  Haven't got "man x11" either, but "man X" works.
Maybe that's because my system is very old.  In that manual page they go
with the "warm cosy feeling" approach too:

>From X man page:
> To  make the tailoring of applications to personal preferences easier,
> X provides a mechanism for  storing  default values  for program
> resources (e.g. background color, window title, etc.)  Resources are
> specified as strings  that are  read  in  from  various places when an
> application is run.  

So, one can store default values of program "resources";  but still no
sentence which has "resource" as the subject and "is" as the verb.  I
think "resource" is the X11 term for what sensible programs call
"settings" or "options" (or "customizable variables" ;-) and patronising
programs call "preferences".  It would be nice to be told, though, rather
than having to pick it up osmotically.

Why must the English language be so misused?  A "resource" is something
one can utilise productively and which it's good to have a lot of, like
money or disk space or agricultural land, or manufacturing plants.  What
was wrong with the word "setting"?

[By contrast, the Elisp manual starts off by saying that lisp is a
programming language.  Something that surely _everybody_ knows, but it's
written down anyway.  Sometimes I think it's a shame that such a wizard
documenter like RMS wasted so much time merely programming.  ;-]

Sorry, I'm still in rant mode at the moment.  I'm going to stop now.

Actually, I've got a much better idea now about xterm, resources and X
itself, than I had last week.  One of these days, I'll get over my
irritation and get down to learning X properly.

Thanks for all the help.

> -- 
> Thomas E. Dickey

Alan Mackenzie (Munich, Germany)
Email: aacm@muuc.dee; to decode, wherever there is a repeated letter
(like "aa"), remove half of them (leaving, say, "a").

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