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Re: Emacs for new users

From: Lennart Borgman
Subject: Re: Emacs for new users
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 19:56:27 +0100

On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 5:37 PM, Per Starbäck <address@hidden> wrote:
> Maybe I should ask my students about what they have found particularly
> confusing. Some things I've noticed
> off the top of my head:
> * beeping is often disturbing and unexpected, in particular for
> scrolling past the beginning or end of the
>  buffer with the scroll wheel. (I agree. That's hardly an error.)
> * the frame/window terminology (of course)
> * I have a hard time getting them to use *one* emacs instead of
> starting several when they are editing several files.

Emacs manual and tutorial is not very good to point out emacs client.
I think that should be changed.

>  One reason is they want them in different frames. Probably
> find-file-other-frame should be in the menus.
> * "M-" (for a short while)
> * They are interrupting things by doing stuff with the mouse. Like
> clicking somewhere in the middle of a query-replace.

Maybe that is one of those things that should be turned off by default
in Emacs? (Ie the possibility to leave minibuffer by just clicking

> I want Emacs to be seen as the best choice for anyone wanting to use
> an editor, not just knowledgeable hackers.
> I would have loved it if the effort in writing gedit had been spent in
> improving Emacs for new users instead for
> example, so that Emacs would be the default Gnome editor, and it
> disturbs me that many GNU/Linux distributions
> don't include Emacs by default. I think most agree with me in this,
> but that some instead see Emacs as "not for
> everyone"?

It is quite strange to not include Emacs. On the other hand it points
to how important it is too make it easy to start using Emacs. I think
we should have to move to adhere better to existing GUI standards (CUA
for example, but that is a hot potato).

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