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Re: Emacs learning curve

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Emacs learning curve
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 21:21:37 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:

> "Alfred M. Szmidt" <address@hidden> writes:
>>    > Advanced users should have no problem adding a single line to their
>>    > .emacs to switch on the compatibility mode
>>    > e.g. (enable-classic-bindings) and new users would enjoy the familiar
>>    > CUA-style bindings out of the box.
>>    I side with Tom, I wouldn't mind adding one line to my .emacs in favor
>>    of easing new users experience.
>> There is absolutley no proof that CUA would 'ease' a new users
>> experience; there is proof that it would make make the experience
>> harder for all who are accustomed to emacs though.
> I don't see that adding mode-, selection- and keypress-timing dependent
> behavior in order to arrive at something that magically works half the
> time like Notepad, half the time like Emacs, does much to make an
> editing application more accessible to a new user.

To illustrate: do we really want to consider the following a suitable
user experience for new users?  Once they type more than 5 keys per
second, CUA behavior will get replaced by native Emacs behavior?  That
sort of cleverness is not predictable to a new user.

cua-prefix-override-inhibit-delay is a variable defined in `cua-base.el'.
Its value is 0.2

*If non-nil, time in seconds to delay before overriding prefix key.
If there is additional input within this time, the prefix key is
used as a normal prefix key.  So typing a key sequence quickly will
inhibit overriding the prefix key.
As a special case, if the prefix keys repeated within this time, the
first prefix key is discarded, so typing a prefix key twice in quick
succession will also inhibit overriding the prefix key.
If the value is nil, use a shifted prefix key to inhibit the override.

You can customize this variable.


Try marking an active region in CUA mode, then jump to the other side of
the region using a properly timed C-x C-x C-x.

This is supposed to be an editor, not an arcade game.  And no, I don't
think that this sort of user interface problem can be solved by
discussing the dexterity to be expected from a new user.

David Kastrup

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