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Re: Info tutorial is out of date

From: Sascha Wilde
Subject: Re: Info tutorial is out of date
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 14:25:26 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden> wrote:
> On Sun, Jul 16, 2006 at 09:40:57PM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
>>     Well, there are about 100 people on the Emacs project list, and 3
>>     have taken exception to your m[o]usings.  Even assuming the other
>>     ~97, none of whom has yet voiced an opinion on the matter, are
>>     confirmed habitual mousers, that leaves 3% of users as mouse
>>     haters.
>> I am a mouse-disliker, but I am also an experienced Emacs user and I
>> don't need to use the tutorial to learn how.

FWIW count me in...  ;-)

>> I am sure there are other experienced Emacs users that dislike the
>> mouse, but the question is about beginners.  Isn't it clear that nearly
>> all beginners use the mouse?
> Yes, but surely not all.  Might it still be that in poorer countries
> there are newbies with PCs of insufficient power to support X?  There are
> surely disabled people who cannot use a mouse without severe difficulty.
> As well as lots of people who don't like using mice (at least 4 of whom
> contribute to Emacs ;-)  [Could it perhaps be that Emacs is a magnet for
> mouse-dislikers?]

While I do fully agree, that changing the tutorial in a more mousy gui
clicking direction is a bad idea, I think the argumentation is getting
in the wrong direction here.  It's not primary about technologically
or physically disabled people, or about some stubborn mouse-haters --
it's about teaching beginners how to use emacs (or in this case info)
in an efficient way.

It's true, that most beginners nowadays know how to use a mouse, and
it might be also true, that most of them expect things to work by
pointing and clicking, _but_ that's not what we should teach them,
because it's not the best (fastest, efficient, most flexible) way to
do it.

Emacs is a very powerful tool (as we all know), enabling new users to
experience this power IMO means to teach them how to do it the best
way from the beginning.

Learning something new is always harder than sticking with old
habits, but it can be very enlightening, too.  :-)

Sascha Wilde
We're Germans and we use Unix. That's a combination of two 
demographic groups known to have no sense of humour whatsoever.
  -- Hanno Mueller in de.comp.os.unix.programming

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