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Re: Emacs setup assistants

From: René Kyllingstad
Subject: Re: Emacs setup assistants
Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 18:59:49 +0200

* Ted Zlatanov:
>  On 26 May 2004, address@hidden wrote:
> > I think it only makes sense to prevent users from doing something if we
> > can't make the result sensible.  I.e. jumping from 3.1 to 2 should
> > *not* be prevented since it should simply do the same as hitting
> > `previous' twice.  It might make sense to prevent the user from jumping
> > from 3.1 to 3.3 if there's a good technical reason.  But nothing should
> > prevent the user from jumping from 3.3 to 3.1 and then back to 3.3.  In
> > the above example, I can't think of any good reason why a user can't
> > jump straight to
> > 3.3 since setting up "sending mail" should not have any dependency w.r.t
> > "news host": the suggested ordering is arbitrary anyway, so the user should
> > be free to do things in another order.
> > 
> > To prevent users from getting confused, items in the outline that have
> > not been completed yet should be dimmed/highlighted.
>  I disagree with this design choice, as I've mentioned already.  I
>  think it complicates the UI unnecessarily and does not bring any real
>  functionality to assistants.  If, however, you or anyone else chooses
>  to implement it and make it the default navigation interface, I won't
>  argue.  Any assistant is better than nothing.

FWIW: I consider myself a power user, and I would be very happy to have
assistants implemented as outlined (with a clear view of which steps are to
be performed, and some flexibility in moving betweem them for
commiting/applying the changes) for the reasons David K. and Stefan
M. outlined.

I would certainly use them myself (for example for setting up spam
filtering in Gnus), and it would allow me to introduce (X)Emacs to other
people without forcing them to spend a lot of time up front reading the
manuals and getting comfortable with (even basic) elisp.

There, one more datapoint in the "what would (power) users want" debate :)

-- René

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