I'm writing an extension to a major mode (coq-mode) that adds extra features, plus a few keybindings.

To makes it easy to disable or redefine these keybindings, I packaged them in a keymap. That keymap is tied to a myplugin-keybindings-minor-mode minor mode, which gets enabled in coq-mode-hook.

Most of these keybindings do not make sense outside of coq-mode. Yet when I open new buffers from a coq-mode buffer, myplugin-keybindings-minor-mode is enabled in the newly opened buffer.

How do I prevent this from happening? How do I tie my minor mode to coq-mode, so that myplugin-keybindings-minor-mode is never active when coq-mode isn't? Altenatively, which other approach should I use?


The minor mode is enabled by using (add-hook 'coq-mode-hook #'myplugin-initialize), and myplugin-initialize calls (myplugin-keybindings-mode 1).

EDIT2: You can see the problem I'm talking about by opening a diff-mode buffer (C-x f test.diff), and then running M-x shell from it. The shell buffer had the Diff-Auto-Refine mode on, inherited from the diff buffer. This isn't a problem for Diff-Auto-Refine, but it is for myplugin-keybindings

  • How do you "open new buffers from a coq-mode buffer" -- i.e., find-file, display-buffer, clone the buffer and incorporate everything from the original buffer, etc.? Is your minor-mode attached to a major-mode hook for all new buffers opening in that particular major-mode -- e.g., if major-mode xyz then (coq-mode 1)? Is your minor-mode global -- e.g., :global t -- instead of local, and that's the problem you wish to resolve?
    – lawlist
    Apr 5, 2015 at 19:56
  • My minor mode is local, not global. New buffers are opened e.g. using find-file, or shell, or ido-switch-buffer.
    – Clément
    Apr 5, 2015 at 20:03
  • Unless you have a global activation for your myplugin-keybindings-mode -- e.g., :global t or (define-globalized-minor-mode . . .), it should only be active in buffers that have a major-mode of coq-mode. Until you track down the problem, you can use (unless (eq major-mode 'coq-mode) . . .) as a wrap-around for your minor mode.
    – lawlist
    Apr 5, 2015 at 20:06
  • @lawlist: I've edited the post. For an example of the behaviour I want to avoid, open a diff-mode buffer, and run M-x shell from it. The shell buffer will have Diff-Auto-Refine minor mode enabled, inherited from the diff buffer. The same happens with my keybindings mode, and I want to avoid that.
    – Clément
    Apr 5, 2015 at 20:07
  • @lawlist Is that really the case? It's not a globalized minor mode, but it's definitely inherited by buffers opened from a buffer where it's already active.
    – Clément
    Apr 5, 2015 at 20:08

1 Answer 1


How about something like this?:

(define-minor-mode myplugin-keybindings-mode
"A minor-mode for . . . . ."
  :init-value nil
  :lighter " myplugin"
  :keymap nil
  :global nil
  :group 'coq-mode
        (eq major-mode 'coq-mode))
      ;; *** insert additional stuff
      (when (called-interactively-p 'any)
        (message "Turned ON `myplugin-keybindings-mode`.")))
      ;; *** insert additional stuff
      (when (called-interactively-p 'any)
        (message "Turned OFF `myplugin-keybindings-mode`.")))))

(defun my-main-function ()
        (eq major-mode 'coq-mode))
    (message "Hello-world!")
    ;; insert more stuff
  • Thanks! That put me on the right track. I had messed up the order of the arguments, and had set init-value to t.
    – Clément
    Apr 5, 2015 at 20:25

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