The Modernization of Emacs: terminology buffer and keybinding

Martin Gregorie martin at see.sig.for.address
Sun Jun 24 14:30:20 CEST 2007

Twisted wrote:
> At least Windows 3.1 had most apps have the same keys for the vast
> majority of commands, and those were the right keys. Emacs has all the
> applications have the vast majority of their commands use the same
> WRONG keys. Including whatever you'd use to rebind them. And the help
> you'd use to find out what the damn keys are in the first place. ;)
You're mis-remembering this.

Apple, first with the Lisa and then with the Mackintosh, had extremely 
consistent menus, menu shortcuts and other key assignments. It was 
possible to teach almost anybody to use them in 15 minutes flat. A major 
reason for the consistency was the Programmer's Toolbox, a piece of ROM 
that contained all the stuff an application needed to handle keyboard, 
mouse and menus. It was there and easy to use, so of course all 
applications programmers used it.

Windows 3 and 3.1 were the first usable Windows versions. Windows 1 and 
2 were a bad jokes. Win/286 worked but had no applications. Win 3.x 
worked a lot better. However, it lacked any equivalent of the 
Programmers Toolbox and as a result the applications were anything but 
consistent. MS applications were self-similar, but other apps used 
wildly divergent ideas about menu structures, shortcuts and key 
assignments. Compare 3.x versions of Word with Wordperfect, or the 
Borland IDEs and this is obvious.

MS finally kicked applications providers into more-or-less consistency 
but that wasn't before Win 95 appeared and they then spoilt the record 
by arbitrary and capricious menu changes as each version of MS Office 

martin@   | Martin Gregorie
gregorie. | Essex, UK
org       |

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