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Re: Emacs learning curve

From: Joe Brenner
Subject: Re: Emacs learning curve
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2010 13:08:24 -0700

Drew Adams <address@hidden> wrote:

> > >> Obviously, there is no reason to choose words perversely
> > >> (e.g. use "red" when we mean green).
> > >
> > > Or use "scroll-up" where it means scroll down, or use
> > > "split-horizontally" where it splits vertically ;)
> >
> > Good one.
> Actually no, bad one.

> I specifically chose red/green and _not_ up/down, because up from one
> vantage point is down from another.  _Not_ so for red/green.  It is
> not perverse to call something "up" which someone else might naturally
> think of as down - it depends on the context.

> The question of whether to consider scrolling from the point of view
> of the view port / window or the point of view of the paper / data
> surface / buffer (which is moving?) is as old as the hills.  And the
> answer sometimes depends on the particular application in a logical
> way (think cockpit); otherwise it is arbitrary.

I'm sorry, I think you're completely off base here.  You're right this
issue is as old as the hills, but the actual trouble is that emacs is even
older than the hills, and this is a good example of a UI mistake that's
grandfathered in.

Ted Nelson nailed this one a long time ago.  I paraphrase: "Either way
makes sense if you think about it, but one makes sense if you don't
think about it.  Because users are *drivers*."

I've had this in my .emacs for a few decades now:

  ; Un-dyslexicize emacs
  (global-set-key "\C-x<" 'scroll-right)
  (global-set-key "\C-x>" 'scroll-left)

  (global-set-key "\C-x{" 'enlarge-window-horizontally)
  (global-set-key "\C-x}" 'shrink-window-horizontally)

(And I see that "scroll-left" is disabled by default because new users
find it confusing... I don't want to come on like a rabid "modernize
emacs!" type, but might it not be better to just *fix* what they find
confusing about it?)

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