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Re: guided tour suggestions

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: guided tour suggestions
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 09:37:47 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/23.0.51 (gnu/linux)

Nick Roberts <address@hidden> writes:

>  > > Again, the draft is at:
>  > > <http://stuff.mit.edu/iap/emacs/emacs-guided-tour-1.html>
>  > >
>  > > If no one objects, I will ask the webmasters to replace the version
>  > > on gnu.org with this soon.
>  > 
>  > I just took a look at it: Ugh!  This is supposed to _advertise_ Emacs,
>  > and I have enough of a fight convincing people that Emacs has made the
>  > step into the twenty-first century.  The guided tour is completely
>  > unsuitable for that...
> There have been many opportunities to comment on the guided tour
> before.

I have confused the discussion about it with a slide show in PDF
format (a different project also discussed here, which I glanced at).

So I did not actually see the guided tour in the context of this
discussion, but only when I got into some fight in comp.emacs where
somebody steadfastly (from decade-old short exposure, it would seem)
claimed that Emacs was a tty application without any useful help or
GUI features.

So I looked for screenshots from off the main page of Emacs.  Apart
from the guided tour (which actually rather proved than disproved the
original poster's point), I came up with a blank.  I had to refer to
the screenshots of AUCTeX instead.

Now this complete absence of any useful screenshots or demo material
(the main Emacs page <URL:http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/> contains
not a single screenshot but refers to the tour at the top) is not the
fault of the tour: it is filling a complete void here.

Nevertheless, I consider it a mistake to have made the screenshots
with what appears like emacs --barebones (or what it was called).

> Some of your comments might be legitimate but unfortunately, as
> usual, your manner is highly antagonistic and counterproductive to
> the fragile spirit of co-operation.

Whatever.  In the current form, I feel myself unable to refer people
to the guided tour as an exposition to Emacs _unless_ they have
already installed Emacs and are planning on using the tour as a
_tutorial_.  But as an exposition, a tour which restricts its
demonstration of human/Emacs interaction to emacs -nw (and even emacs
-nw would offer menus) is not encouraging.

Even if one does not want to work on the basics of the tour itself,
the screenshots (which are the only ones reachable from the main Emacs
page) should rather reflect what a new user will be working with,
namely emacs -Q.

After all, we have fought manmonths of time over the best options and
look to present to beginners by default.  Why not show the result of
all that work?

David Kastrup

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