evil interferes with describe-key in Emacs 24

Vegard Øye vegard_oye at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 6 15:48:51 CEST 2011

On 2011-09-05 18:25 +0200, Frank Fischer wrote:

> Sounds like something changed with the handling of the prefix-key
> ESC/escape. Perhaps some interference with the special handling of
> those keys?

I can confirm your suspicion. The error is contingent on the following
line in evil-states.el:

    (define-key evil-esc-map (kbd "ESC") 'evil-esc)

`evil-esc-map' is the first keymap listed in `evil-mode-map-alist',
and has priority over all other Evil keymaps.

> Need to get an Emacs 24 somewhere ...

You can get the sources from Bazaar, but you'll have to install a host
of libraries to compile them. The following may save you some time if
you have not compiled Emacs previously.

First, install Bazaar:

    sudo apt-get install bzr

Then download the Bazaar repository (as explained on

    bzr branch bzr://bzr.savannah.gnu.org/emacs/trunk

This will take some time. When it's done, enter the resulting trunk/
directory and refer to INSTALL.BZR for build instructions. autoconf
is needed:

    sudo apt-get install autoconf

Now run


to generate the configure script. Then run


and it will likely complain about missing dependencies. These are
the libraries I had to install:

    sudo apt-get install libtool \
      libgtk2.0-dev \
      libxpm-dev \
      libjpeg-dev \
      libgif-dev \
      libungif4-dev \
      libtiff-dev \

When everything is in place, Emacs can be built with:

    make bootstrap

This will create an Emacs binary in the src/ subdirectory.


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