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

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: [h-e-w] EmacsW32, gnuserv, pathes in .emacs
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006 06:32:52 +0300

> From: "Drew Adams" <address@hidden>
> Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 14:52:56 -0700
>     > IME, the tutorial is some 200~300 lines too long.
>     It omits some vital information even though you think it's long.  I
>     don't know how it can be possible to introduce a program of Emacs'
>     complexity in less than 1200 lines of text, and still do a good job.
> Perhaps a modular suite of short (mini) tutorials? That is, a long tutorial
> could be tackled more easily in several learning sessions and in smaller
> bites. You could go directly to "Lesson 3, Incremental Search" or whatever,
> if you wanted. With an outline at the top (or left) that helps you find your
> way around the main tutorial topics, that could be an improvement.

There's nothing in the current tutorial that prevents users from
reading it in chunks.  The Tutorial is divided into sections, so a
user could leave after reading some of them, then return to where she
left off.

The important thing is that new users should read the Tutorial in its
entirety (but not necessarily in one go), because otherwise they will
lack important information.  I don't know how to force people to do

While adding some menu or tree-like structure to the Tutorial is a
good idea, it still cannot solve the problem of people who are too
impatient to finish their reading before they start working.

It is okay to skip the Tutorial, but then the user should invest lots
of time reading the manual (which does have structure).

> In general, anything we think Emacs users need to use often should be at
> least pointed out in the tutorial.

That would make the Tutorial impossibly long.  There's too much to

> The emphasis in the tutorial (IIRC - it's
> been twenty years since I've used it) is on text editing, which is fine, but
> how to get help and how to customize Emacs (that is, how to set preferences)
> are also important for general use.

The philosophy is that the default Emacs should work well enough for
the new user not to be bothered by customization for quite some time.
If that is far from reality, let's hear why.  Perhaps some defaults
need to be changed, or perhaps Emacs should do something automatically
that it doesn't.

> I suspect the problem is not the overall size, but the fact that it is not
> in bite-size pieces - you need to digest it all at once. You cannot easily
> follow the tutorial for 10 minutes each day - you cannot easily pick up
> where you left off.

I don't see why this would be impossible.  Please explain.

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