[ESS] [O] Keyboard shortcut - is there a principle behind them?

Rainer M Krug Rainer at krugs.de
Fri Dec 6 11:01:24 CET 2013

Hash: SHA1

On 12/06/13, 10:49 , Oleh wrote:
> Initially the shortcuts were mnemonic, e.g. C-e:
> `move-end-of-line'. Obviously the keys ran out pretty quick.

I can really imagine. But this explains some - but following your
example: C-a moves to the beginning of the line - the only "a" there
is in "Anfang", which is German for "beginning". So only partial luck

> Now only few shortcuts are reserved for user space and plugins, the
> most notable of which is the `C-c` prefix. That's why most custom
> modes such as org-mode and ESS bind to shortcuts with `C-c` prefix:
> there's a convention that Emacs core will not use `C-c`.

Ah - very good to know.

> A nice way of remembering shortcuts only when you need them is to 
> call commands by name with `M-x`. After a while, when you note that
> you're using one particular command a lot, you'll want to learn the
> shortcut for it.

That's how I do it - but it involves learning sequences which do not
make any sense to me - and I am sure there is some sense in the
sequence, at least within each mode.

> There's one package that might be of good use to you: `smex'. It
> uses ido completion for `M-x`. You can install it from
> MELPA/Marmelade. It binds automatically to `M-x` when you install,
> although I recommend: (global-set-key "\C-t" 'smex)

Yes - smex and ido are *very* useful - I do not know how one can use
emacs without them.

> As an example, say you want to tangle. Here's what you do: C-t
> tang Now you see a bunch of rectangle commands mixed into the
> bunch. You can filter them out by noting that tangle commands have
> `org` in their name. C-SPC org C-SPC Now there's only 7 candidates
> left and you can select the one you want with C-m either by cycling
> with C-s or continuing to type part of name.
> `smex` logs the commands you use most. For them it usually takes
> less than 2-3 characters from the name to be recognized. E.g. if
> you use `org-babel-tangle` a lot, you can usually call it with C-t
> bab C-m.

Very true and very useful.

> Finally note that no shortcuts are set in stone. You can customize 
> all of them if you want to do so. For instance, and probably a lot
> of people will disagree, it doesn't make sense for me to have
> `previous-line' on C-p. So I swap C-p and C-h: (keyboard-translate
> ?\C-h ?\C-p) (keyboard-translate ?\C-p ?\C-h)

Absolutely true - but I usually try to keep the customization to a
minimum and to use the defaults.



> Oleh
> On Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 10:02 AM, Rainer M Krug <Rainer at krugs.de>
> wrote: Hi
> one alternative subject could be "because it is Friday"...
> I am using org-mode and ess regularly, and I use quite a few
> keyboard shortcuts, but each time I read about a new one, I am
> wondering: why the heck these specific (default!) keyboard
> shortcuts?
> I am not asking why keyboard sequence, but e.g. why "export" in org
> is C-c e and why tangle is C-c C-v t, and so on.
> In other words: I am trying to *understand* why C-c and not C-o, 
> because I have tremendous problems to remember the shortcuts - if
> I would know that there is s tree structure, where each following
> key narrows it down to further *thematically linked* commands, it
> would make it easier to learn these.
> Any insight into this? Or is there a emacs function which returns
> a random keyboard shortcut for a given function (some emacs
> shortcuts really seem to be that way...).
> Thanks,
> Rainer

- -- 
Rainer M. Krug, PhD (Conservation Ecology, SUN), MSc (Conservation
Biology, UCT), Dipl. Phys. (Germany)

Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology
Stellenbosch University
South Africa

Tel :       +33 - (0)9 53 10 27 44
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