[OS X Emacs] Aquamacs Meta key

Elliott Roper elliott at yrl.co.uk
Sat Mar 11 13:12:50 EST 2017

> On 11 Mar 2017, at 15:51, 7stud <7stud at excite.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> About every half hour when I'm using Aquamacs, I (mis)type a key sequence, and my Meta key, which is the default Option key, changes to "Option for composed characters", which can be seen in in the Auqamacs menu bar under:
> Options > Option, Command, Meta keys > Option for composed characters
> Thereafter, every time I hit a Meta key sequence, e.g. M-p, a mathematical symbol, e.g. pi, gets entered into the buffer--rather than the emacs key sequence doing the expected operation.  This is very irritating.  Is there a way to permanently set the Meta key to my Option key? I don't want anything I type ever to be able to change which key is the Meta key. 
> And, I would encourage the Aquamacs implementers to remove this "feature" forthwith.   Do you have any idea how frustrating it is when someone is trying to learn emacs, and the Meta key randomly changes, causing emacs key sequences not to work as described?? Do you think that beginners are going to be able to figure out why certain key sequences don't work, i.e. that their Meta key suddenly stopped being the Meta key? 

Well, speaking as a fellow beginner, it seems that 'meta key randomly changes' is a tiny bit harsh. You have to type C-; to toggle between meta and composed sequences and it says so in the submenu you quote from. As far as I can see (1) that's the only sequence that toggles it by default. Given that there are several thousand Emacs key sequences to learn, one more should not be a great burden. There are plenty of others that toggle similar properties, the most delightful of which is C-\ which toggles between your two favourite input modes. You get similar surprising behaviour after forgetting you have done so and are not yet in the habit of watching the minibuffer status line like a hawk.

Errr, speaking of the minibuffer - keep it watched as you toggle C-; It might lessen the pain. If ever there was truth in the saying "no pain, no gain" It is true of Emacs

Note 1. There is almost certainly a way to turn off C-; doing the toggle you detest by clawing your way through the Emacs manual.
(a few minutes later)
I'm nearly there, I think it involves rebinding the global keymap for C-; in your initialisation file for a permanent fix. Get started with C-h k C-; which will reward you with some help regarding rebinding the C-; key

It's the first time I have tried hacking elisp for my init file, so I may be gone some time (grin).

Elliott Roper

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