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Re: Emacs setup assistants

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Emacs setup assistants
Date: 27 May 2004 10:50:21 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

Ted Zlatanov <address@hidden> writes:

> On 26 May 2004, address@hidden wrote:
> > I don't see how being forced artificially to keep a sequence will
> > make things simpler.  If you don't want the "complication" of
> > being able to look ahead, you are not forced to do so.
> > 
> > Personally, I find it rather a nuisance if some software forces a
> > sequence unto me that basically forces me to completely start over
> > if I made a mistake at the beginning somewhere.
> I am OK with such free navigation as long as it's optional and off
> by default.

What does "off by default" mean?  Should we disable the cursor keys so
that, unless you customize a secret obscure variable, you don't get a
chance to amend your choices?

> > I can live perfectly well without that sort of "simplicity".
> Well, yes, and you're unlikely to need assistants as well :) Think
> about new Emacs users.  I have seen plenty over the years, and I
> speak from experience when I say that if they get assistants, free
> navigation by default would be a disservice.

It is not "by default".  I am not suggesting that Emacs should press
wildly upon the cursor keys, or that the user has to move from one
item to another manually.

> Simplicity in UI design is a feature, not a lack thereof.

It is not simplicity if I have to start over from scratch if I had
made a wrong choice.  It is not simplicity if I am not allowed to see
consequenes of what I am working with.

Simplicity is served by having a natural sequence from start to end,
not by punishing the user severely if he finds he made a mistake or
wants to amend a choice he made earlier, necessitating temporarily
not following the sequence.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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