Emacs' Backspace Is Broke

Why emacs' implementers chose to make Ctrl+H open the useless (except to experts, and experts don't need it) emacs help mode is and will always be a mystery to me.

As an otherwise avid emacs user (and vi-hater), this has irked me for years. Finally, I went and grepped and read enough elisp to figure out how to fix it, and now I'd like everyone to know how:

(define-key global-map "\C-h" 'backward-delete-char)

Put this command in a file named .emacs in your home-directory, and you will no longer have to practice your Ctrl-G skills every time you try to edit something from a terminal where the backspace key doesn't use your particular flavor of Unix's conventions.

And someday maybe I'll be motivated to figure out how to fix the rest of the keyboard, and post it here. (I did eventually write some more -- see My Favorite .emacs File Stuff.)

Oh, and if you really want to access the help function, just do Escape, "x", "help", enter. (Meta-X help for you experts.)
Jason Campbell, February 1997