Okay, now if I understand all this correctly, keyboards (and computers)
    did not have a delete-to-the-right key or keycode. Indeed,
    www.asciitable.com shows ascii 8 as Backspace and ascii 127 as DEL. If
    DEL is interpreted as delete-to-the-left, then we have two codes that
    mean the same, and no code for delete-to-the-right, correct?

More or less.  More precisely, we have two codes which were used
differently in two different traditions:

The old tradition:
        Delete for delete-to-the-left, and no key for delete-to-the-right.

PC:     Backspace for delete-to-the-left, and Delete for delete-to-the-right.

Given these conflicting traditions, there are two approaches
that could be reasonable in theory:

* Tell everyone "you must remap Delete as Backspace if you have a
keyboard whose big key is Delete."  At some point this might be the
best thing to do, but it is somewhat arrogant to tell a lot of users
"You must remap your keyboards to use our software", and unless
they have come to regard it as justified, they are likely
to get quite angry.

* Make applications handle both Backspace and Delete as
delete-to-the-left, and use some other gesture for
delete-to-the-right.  This way, we can give the users a simple uniform
recommendation that works reasonably well on all keyboards.

It is reasonable for a program to offer an option to use the PC
meanings--in other words, to make Delete delete to the right.  Emacs
has such an option.  Maybe GTK should have such an option too.

    Now where did that C-d come from?

C-d is the Emacs key binding for delete-to-the-right.  This was not an
inevitable choice; some other key binding could have been chosen.  But
this one has the advantage that "d" is mnemonic for "delete".

    I don't see why
    Emacs would be a better "standard" to model program behaviour after than
    the "standard" PC way of doing things.

Emacs is an important part of the GNU system, and other GNU programs
(notably BASH) provide compatible key bindings.  Even many non-GNU
programs support Emacs key bindings.  So it is very useful for any GNU
program to provide Emacs-compatible bindings, if they fit in the

It sounds like this is really a GTK issue, not specifically a GIMP
issue, so I should raise the issue with the GTK developers.  Thanks.

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