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Re: Munging of del and backspace

Mikael Hedin <mikael.hedin@gmx.net> writes:

> But why is emacs f**ing with the keysyms?  If I try to map DEL to a
> command, I have to press backspace in emacs!

It has historical reasons.  I wouldn't worry about it too much --
it's just a name.

Back in the days of yore^H^H^H^Hascii terminals, there was only one
key on the keyboard, labeled "rubout" or "delete" that did what we
now expect of backspace.  (It was also at the same position.)

This key generated ascii 127, also known as DEL when you type "man

So that's where the wording comes from.  Note that RET, TAB, DEL, SPC
are really names for ascii characters, not to be confused with
<return>, <tab>, <delete>, <space> which are "function keys".  RET is
the same as C-m, TAB is the same as C-i.  So when you type C-h k C-i
then Emacs will talk about TAB instead of C-i, because these are the

On ascii terminals, the "function keys" generated the same keycodes
as C-m, C-i and so on, so for a program they were indistinguishable.

For backward compatibility, many modes bind RET, TAB, DEL instead of
<return>, <tab>, <backspace>.
file-error; Data: (Opening input file no such file or directory ~/.signature)

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