My first DontZap use case while testing F11 beta

Christopher Stone chris.stone at
Sat Apr 18 17:18:45 UTC 2009

On Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 3:21 PM, Mark <markg85 at> wrote:
> If i'm right this is the second flame war about the DontZap "feature"...
> After reading roughly 100 posts (some quite interesting) in this flame
> war and some of the previous flame war i'm still not convinced that
> this new default for dontzap is the right one.

Probably close to 500 posts or so now, but the people receiving
kickbacks from Microsoft want you to think only one or two people are
against this change.

> The one -- and only -- reason that i see popping up all the time is
> emacs being stupid enough to have a ctr+alt+bs key binding in it as
> well.

There is an identical key binding in emacs which performs the same
operation which is ctrl-alt-` or something like this, there is a post
in one of the threads which mentions it.

> I would really like to see the reasoning behind this new default for
> dontzap.. i wonder if there is any reasoning behind it at all.

This is the key.  Not only will it be impossible to change, but the
reasoning for the change is being kept a tightly held secret.  Every
single thread on every mailing list (including!) has about a 9
to 1 ratio of people against making the change versus people in favor
of it.  The decision was made by less than a handful of people on IRC
with no logs.

> The way i see it there are a few options to get past this issue.
> 1. (the red hat way) take it the way it is now or use another distribution
> 2. restore dontzap to it's "old" value.. it worked fine for many years
> so why change it if it isn't even broken
> 3. spam emacs for having a ctrl+alt+bs key binding and demand that
> they use some other key mix
> Option 1 is what RH will probably do because they are to stubborn to
> revert it even though the majority of the people will vote for the old
> behavior if they dare to keep a vote.

There will never be a vote, because a vote would overwhelmingly decide
to restore the original defaults.  For some reason, this cannot be
allowed to happen, and we have to be stuck with Microsoft like

> Option 2 and 3 is what has to be done if you ask me and as long as it
> hasn't been done redhat should patch those packages and contact the
> ones that need to be contacted.

No, need to spam emacs, they already have made another key-binding, so
it's not an issue.  RH will not restore the defaults to sane values no
matter how vociferously the community complains.

> About how the decision was made to change DontZap. Xorg is a big
> package and millions of users (hundreds of distributions) use it
> because it's just the "(un)official" standard. now it's very strange
> to see how ONE person (or that's the idea that i get behind this
> change) is somehow allowed to make a decision for millions of people!
> That just seems wrong to me. Meritocracy shouldn't be allowed in a
> project that can potentially have a huge impact and if that is allowed
> they should probably be forked to a group that does listen to the
> users (must be Democracy!!). Or all switch to DirectFB. Xorg should
> only be allowed to IMPROVE xorg, to support more stuff and not to
> delete features (or at least not features that everyone will notice in
> a negative way if deleted) unless approved by the biggest
> distributions that use Xorg. (and those distributions should all have
> polls with the same questions to ask the user base).

It wont happen.  Microsoft is probably spending less than ten grand
paying off a few key developers to disable a feature by default.  This
is how the world works unfortunately.  If the community wants to
revert the default, they will have to come up with more money than
Microsoft is paying them to disable it.

So, how much is Microsoft paying you guys?  Anyone who has been
posting to this thread who has been receiving kickback money, please
let us know how much you are getting.

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