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RE: [h-e-w] EmacsW32, gnuserv, pathes in .emacs

From: Phil Betts
Subject: RE: [h-e-w] EmacsW32, gnuserv, pathes in .emacs
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2006 12:56:51 +0100

Eli Zaretskii wrote on Wednesday, July 05, 2006 7:31 PM::

> I wish people would recommend the Emacs documentation _before_ wiki
> and the other sites.

The OP said that he'd not yet found "good .emacs-files or tutorials".
That implied that he'd already looked.

Perhaps I was wrong, but since the *first* place I'd look is in the
program's bundled documentation, I assumed he had too.

In any case, AFAIR the bundled tutorial only covers the fundamentals
of editing in emacs, and the documentation doesn't include "good 
.emacs-files", so it would not have been appropriate to refer 
Christian to the bundled documentation.

> If the documentation bundled with Emacs is not complete or wrong or
> unclear, please report that as bugs. 

The bundled documentation is for the most part complete, correct and
clear and is a real treasure trove, but I can understand how a 
newcomer to emacs might struggle to find the answer to a particular 
problem.  E.g. terminology is often confusing - emacs uses 
"auto-fill" where the rest of the world uses "auto-wrap".  If you 
apropos for "wrap", you'll find nothing remotely related to word-
wrapping.  As in a lot of technical documentation, if you know where 
to find the answer, you probably already know the answer.

I can't comment on any EmacsW32 documentation, because I've never
risked using EmacsW32.  [Perhaps it's a misconception, but I get the
feeling it would compromise my current set-up, which has evolved over 
about 20 years to work consistently, regardless of OS, window-system
(or not), emacs flavour or version (including version 18, which can 
still be found in the wild!)  The very last thing I want is something
that makes "the keyboard and other things in Emacs function more like
they do usually in MS Windows programs" whatever that means - to
search, do you press C-f (Word), F3 (regedit) or S-C-f (Outlook)?]

> I spent a few hours adding documentation of w32-specific features 
> to the manual just a few days ago:

"A few days ago" means that hardly anyone will have seen it yet.

Is this EmacsW32 specific documentation, or part of the main emacs 
manual?  If the latter, I'll make a note to check it out next time 
I upgrade.

> was that a futile waste of time on my part?   

No.  Writing documentation is rarely futile, but it often seems
thankless.  Don't lose heart.  Even if nobody reads it of their own 
volition, it's always quicker to point people to the answers than to 
keep answering the same questions.  Just make sure that if you do 
direct someone to the manual, don't just say "rtfm", but give clear 
directions to the relevant part of "tfm", remembering that new users 
may not even know how to start info, let alone navigate to the 
relevant page.


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