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configurable default setup selection (was Re: M-x goto-line binding)


From: Jari Aalto+mail.emacs
Subject: configurable default setup selection (was Re: M-x goto-line binding)
Date: 06 Jan 2001 01:24:20 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.090001 (Oort Gnus v0.01) Emacs/20.6 (i386-*-windows98.1998)

* 2001-01-04 Charles Sebold <address@hidden> gnu.emacs.help
* <http://search.dejanews.com/address@hidden&format=threaded>
| Seriously, though, do we have to pitch to the lowest common denominator
| with this editor?  Or can we assume that people who stick with it when
| it doesn't always work the way they want it to work, are rewarded by
| their understanding and new abilities to extend Emacs?
|
| To quote from a post from some months ago, that I saved:
|
| | IMHO using Emacs without Lisp is like using a combined
| | car/submarine/aircraft, and staying only in first gear, resolutely on
| | the ground. Sure, most people don't want to use Lisp, but to be quite
| | frank Emacs isn't aimed at `most people'. Emacs is aimed squarely at
| | experts who spend most of their lives inside an editor, and so can
| | afford the time to make it fit them *exactly*. Changing that focus would
| | be really difficult and slow, and who'd want to do it? There are lots of
| | editors aimed at J. Random User out there; let's have at least one that
| | specializes in the expert.
| |
| |  -- Nix <address@hidden>, in comp.emacs

[purposively posted to gnu.emacs.bug, this is request for feature]

Well...

    The average joe that tries his best to learn this "True Editor"
    that he has heard to "Write his semester project program for him
    in an integrated environment where he can transparently edit
    remote files and connect to dozen databases at the same time when
    wizzling to wait several compile buffers to finish. Oh, and his
    co-worker told him, that it knows all programming languages..."

That's for the slogan.

    The poor fellow (nowadays presumably PC-user) takes Emacs,
    installs it, clicks "run" and waits for the glory. "What? Where
    are the features". He spends couple of weeks max to jump aroung
    newsgroups hoping to get helped .. his project is closing
    .. he still stumbles and can't understand Emacs in week or in
    a month. "What's this obscure lisp all talk about?", wonders
    knowing only Java (or some of the mainstream brace-block
    programming languages). He can't make sense of lisp other than
    copy/paste - it works/it does not work.

    .. time passes .. no joy, no glory, nothing but hard work!

    He picks UltraEdit and tells everybody, "Emacs? You gotta be
    kidding, I never touch the monolith again." "I do not have
    lifetime, or months to learn it. I've got a deadline."

Things could be different. (Feature Request)

    The fellow is welcomed with a lisp buffer (something Like in XEmacs)
    welcoming him to use the most powerfull thing in the bleeding
    edge software development.

    "Now what do you want to do today?" The screen asks:

        1) Start Emacs in "raw mode" (Advanced users only)
        2) Select configuration 1 [press for more info]
        2) Select configuration 2 [press for more info]
        2) Select configuration 3 [press for more info]
        2) Select other contributed configuration [press for list]

    "If you're unsure, select 1"  (The best appealing user drfaults)

    "Now, do you want to make this selection permanent for next sessions?"
    "Thank you. To change your selection see CONFIGURE menu."
    "To get help, see HELP and INFO menu."

That's all it would have needed. And this was asked many, many years
ago.

Why should we care? Because the more larger the user database, the more
developers will eventually grow and the more the Emacs will be tested,
more feature proposals will appear etc.

It is a good thing to make product to appeal people and work well out
of the box.

Now, what can we do to get this kind of feature right into next Emacs?
It only needs an initial screen and some Customize dialogs and
set of selectable Emacs startup configuration files where the
features will be activated. One menu where the different Emacs startups
can be selected and changes (switched, aka themes).

Jari



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