The Modernization of Emacs: terminology buffer and keybinding

Twisted twisted0n3 at
Wed Jun 27 13:04:39 CEST 2007

On Jun 27, 4:18 am, Gian Uberto Lauri <s... at>
[A very long, rambling, semi-coherent post]

> Strange. I am *NOT* a native english speaker and I think my Q.I. tends
> toward average from below...

That much is obvious.

> ...but refcard sound very useful to me, maybe is short for "reference card" ?

Yes, but you'd have to be some kind of clairvoyant to realize "I know!
I'll do a search for "" on the off chance someone happens to
have made a reference card, called it "refcard", and chose the
Postscript format to record it in!" out of the blue.

> I admit. find is less intuitive. But the stuff Windows comes with does
> just that  and nothing more. It  will never suggest you  that the long
> boring  task expecting  you can  be solved  in a  completely automatic
> way with a little creative job.

And with one little typo, it's hello Sorceror's Apprentice mode...

> Emacs  help was  hypertextual  when Dr.  Watson  plagued Windowd  3.11
> users...

Dr. Watson just plagued this WinXP user. Please don't mention Dr.
Watson again for a while, for the love of Christ.

> Splash, large miss.

This is usenet, not Battleship.

> You usually fire it to the local printer.

Yes, if you have one and care to blow through reams of paper and
gallons of ink every month by printing everything you encounter
instead of reading it on the expensive LCD monitor you got for such

> T> enough. Trying to read anything serious and navigate in GSView is
> T> no picnic either.
> A refcard, my dear, is something that goes on an A4/Letter sheet and
> NEEDS NOT to be hypertextual.

I was being more general.

> With a PS file you can do  just one thing, execute it. It's a program,
> did you know ?

For which you need an interpreter. Such as Ghostscript. Which is a
pain to install and a bigger one to configure, even on Windoze.

> Uh, I forget. For  Windows users getting a PDF out of  a PS or HTML or
> ASCII is  not this easy unless  they get some  extra software (someone
> ported CUPS to Windows ?). Again, not an Emacs fault.

I wouldn't know CUPS if it dropped on my head. I think the same can be
said of most of the 3 or 4 non-expert unix users in the world.

> Stop guessing or all will know that all you know about Unix is that
> is a 4 letter word...

Yeah. Unix is a four-letter word alright.

> All the  computer screen is devoted  to your work,  the sheet provides
> some extra  "real estate" for the  help information, a  sort of double
> heading  display. All  you  need to  do  is turn  your  eyes from  the
> monitor, maybe  your eyes and  read the informations. It  coudl happen
> that you need to  flip the sheet. But you can keep  both your work and
> the help text  "ready at your fingertips", and  this is useful indeed:
> you read the  command keybinding, turn your eyes, type  it and see the
> result and/or continue your work.

One small step backwards for a man, one giant leap...

> About money.  Indeed ink/toner and  paper costs. Electricity  grows on
> the spark tree so aboundant in our forests...

This intrigues my younger brother. He wants to know how many moons are
in the sky and what color the sun is that your planet orbits. He's at
that phase where he's fascinated by astronauts, tales of alien worlds,
and things like that, you see...

> But PostScript printing on my  '80 Epson printwriter or my HP720c with
> a Unix  system with CUP is as  easy as opening a  browser, telling the
> system I have a HP720c plugged to the parallel port and voilà.

I'll bet. Something tells me the catch lies somewhere in "a Unix
system with CUP". Unless it's in "browser" instead. Something tells me
we're not talking about something that resembles Firefox and makes
navigation easy and intuitive here.

> In the  same time I got  an HP720c and  it come with no  other drivers
> than Mac and  Windows ones. I feared  I was SOL when I  readed of some
> guy that  wrote a small  program that was  able to convert  certain gs
> output to byte sequences good to pilot the HP720c.
> It was  *easy* to  put this  program in the  pipeline in  the "printer
> driver" script.
> And was *easy* insert a2ps to shoot plain text directly to the printer.

*Easy*. Maybe if you know all about the guts of how the printing
subsystem of the OS works. I doubt it's anything like that easy for
joe random who just wants to hit "print" and print the document
already and not have to spend ages learning about the internals of the
operating system first. In Windows, you plug it in and pick it from a
dialog (or use a disc that comes with the printer to do setup) and
print something. Voila! Out pops a document into the tray; no mess, no
fuss. Getting out your wrench and going at the plumbing shouldn't be
necessary; any more than I'd want to move into a new home and find I
needed to break out the tools and mess with the plumbing before the
toilet would flush or the kitchen tap spout water.

> Ah, you'll start  thinking that those who find  find syntax arcane are
> jackass... You  need a little to realize  it was not this  easy in the
> beginning. The dark side of power.

Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your
destiny. Don't underestimate the power of the dark side!

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