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I was just looking at the Ediff manual¹ for something, and it's one of those Emacs manuals that (a bit annoyingly) only list keybinds and not function names (so, if you have rebinding going on, you don't know what it's talking about without digging into source).

And the keys it suggests for the things I want to do aren't doing anything for me—I get X is undefined, and if I C-hkX, I get X is undefined—these keys Ediff says should be available aren’t otherwise bound to self-insert or anything else.

(I should note here this doesn’t mean that I have no Ediff bindings; the keys shown onscreen in the Ediff Control Panel window do all work. It’s just keys that the manual mentions I’m having trouble invoking.)

The weird things, though, are that

  1. searching my configs, I don't have anything named .*ediff.* rebound, so I don't know why those default keys wouldn't work, and
  2. since Ediff has its own control panel buffer with its own keymap that uses mostly unchorded commands, why is a key that the manual says should do something, like @ or *, unbound (not bound to self-insert)?

I can use the source (mostly ediff-util.el) to find what functions these keys are supposed to be bound to and then bind them or run them with M-x, but I’m not sure how to go about diagnosing why I don’t have these keys bound in the first place.

(In case it matters, I’m running Emacs in server mode with my emacsclient running in a TTY.)


¹ Though I link to the current HTML version of the Ediff manual for convenience, the one I’m reading is the Info pages shipped with Emacs 25.2.2.

  • 2
    Have you tried starting Emacs with emacs -Q (no init file)? That should show you what the default bindings are. If X etc. is not bound in that case, and if the Ediff doc says it should be, consider reporting a bug: M-x report-emacs-bug. If you don't see the problem without your init file, bisect your init file to find the culprit. – Drew Oct 18 at 17:00
  • Which keys in a particular are you having issues with? From the Ediff Control Panel ? displays the keys. Some of the help may look odd, for example "X - read-only in buf X" here X refers to the ediff buffer names A or B. – alls0rts Oct 21 at 11:04
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When you say X, are you referring to the help output such as X - read only in buffer X. There X is referring to the Ediff buffer names, for example A or B.

  • I put X in <kbd> tags to indicate that it was the key I was trying to type, not that it was a "foo" or "mumble". – Trey Nov 1 at 21:40
  • (So in other words, no, I'm not talking about buffer names, I'm saying that there are keys shown in the manual— <kbd>X</kbd> being one—that do nothing for me, and I don't know how to resolve this. – Trey Nov 2 at 21:18

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