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Re: Debian emacs21: can't bind umlaut keys

Peter Daum writes:
> Now after migrating my systems from Suse to Debian (Etch), my key
> bindings don't work anymore and I can't figure out, what changed.
> Here a minimal code snippet to illustrate the problem:
> (defun latin1-to-emacs-char (char-code)
>   (make-char 'latin-iso8859-1 (- char-code 128)))
> (setq c_ae (latin1-to-emacs-char 228))
> (local-set-key (make-vector 1 c_ae) "ae")
> This should bind the key labeled "ä" to instead insert "ae". technically,
> it still works on emacs 21.4 in Etch ((current-local-map) indicates the
> change) but the key still produces "ä".
> Some side notes:
> - Emacs is running in unibyte mode

Not really related to the problem, but why do you use unibyte mode?
It is very much deprecated, you will not be able to edit or view utf-8
encoded text.

> - The X server or the console driver (the problem is not X-related,
>   on the console it's the same) produce the expected key event:
>     state 0x0, keycode 48 (keysym 0xe4, adiaeresis), same_screen YES,
>     XLookupString gives 1 bytes: (e4) "ä"
>     XmbLookupString gives 1 bytes: (e4) "ä"

FWIW, on a current Sid system I could not reproduce the problem under
X.  It does exist on the Linux console, though.

> After an extended investigation, I know now, that this problem must be
> caused by some debian-specific change to emacs. I installed several
> other emacsens on the same system (including a shiny new emacs 22.1
> compiled from the original source) and in all other installations, the
> code snippet above will redefine the "ä" key as expected.

I can confirm that it works in Emacs 22.

> Since I am planning to use Debian on lots of machines, I would strongly
> prefer if there was some workaround for the emacs21 debian package
> instead of using a self-made emacs on all machines.

A possible workaround would be to use the following:

(local-set-key [228] "ae") 

and similar for the other keys.  This seems to work in non-Unicode

> Unfortunately, I can't figure out, which modification actually causes
> this and what to do about it. Any ideas?

No, except that I would recommend you to use Emacs 22 instead of Emacs
21.  There are packages at http://emacs.orebokech.com/ which are
fairly well integrated into Debian (I use these myself).



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