Re: [dev] [st] [PATCH] 8bit-meta like xterm

From: Roberto E. Vargas Caballero <>
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2013 17:42:16 +0200

> > No, it is the intended behaviour.
> >
> The fact that someone discovered it, _thought_ it was intended, and
> showed other people how to do it does not mean that it actually was
> intended.

It is the expected behaviour. As far as I know the first keyboard with meta
key was space-cadet keyboard (look it in, which has meta, control,
super, hyper and shift modificator in order can generate all the possible
symbols, like for example greek symbols (I don't know how it encoded
them). When Stallman wrote emacs he uses the non ascii keys like bindings,
but the original function of these keys was only generate the values. In a
moderm ascii machine the keys mean:

 - Shift: reset bit 5
 - Control: reset bits 7-5
 - meta: set bit 7
 - super: (I don't know what did this key)
 - hyper: (I don't know what did this key)

Because ascii was designed in this way, all the control codes are placed in
0-20, A is 41 while a is 61. And you can use meta key for generating
iso8859-1 symbols (in the beginning was the unique way), if you know what
key has the same value except upper bit. Using meta key for this task is
obsolete today, because keyboard controller today work with shift-layout and
they don't give a meaning to the modifier, only allow access to other
different layout, where you can put the keycodes you want.

Other point here is that in pc keyboard there isn't a meta key and usually
alt key is used like meta key.

> > XTerm handles that transparently: when in UTF-8 mode, Meta-d
> > is still CHR$(ASC("d")+128) = "ä", just U+00E4 instead of a
> > raw '\xE4' octet.

Xterm has the Xresources altIsNotMeta, metaSendsEscape and alt
altSendsEscape, eightBitInput, eightBitMeta and eightBitOutput that allow
you define how you want alt/meta key works. If your xterm generates 8bit
meta codes you have it configured for it (or maybe your xterm has a
different default configuration mine has).

> If this were an intended feature why would it elevate latin-1 over other
> unicode characters? This only proves my point.
> > This is *extremely* useful – especially as it leads people
> > away from national keyboard layouts towards QWERTY while
> > retainig the ability to write business eMails, which require
> > correct spelling.

I think it is easier a compose key, which allows you define non ascii
characteres using keystrokes (compose-key ' a -> á). This is the solution I
use in my USA keyboard and could generate spanish accents.

> And what the heck is wrong with national keyboard layouts that it's
> "useful" to "lead people away from" them?

In my case I use a special keyboard which hasn't support for my national

Best regards,
Received on Tue Apr 23 2013 - 17:42:16 CEST

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