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Re: [h-e-w] new user keybindings

From: Guy Gascoigne - Piggford
Subject: Re: [h-e-w] new user keybindings
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 11:14:50 -0700
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20060516)

I'd have to say that I think that Lennart is right here.  I learned
Emacs about 15 or so years ago, happily managing with the default key
bindings on every platform that I used, but nowadays my default desktop
is Windows XP, I switched to the CUA keybindings simply because it made
for a much better experience switching between a various applications
(and because personally I actually find them easier).

I see no reason why emacs should have to make simple things harder, if a
large percentage of possible new users already know a popular set of
keybindings, why shouldn't there be a simple option to setup and find
them, and why can't this be documented?  I don't think that many new
users care about learning the "Emacs way" of doing things or the "CUA
way", they just want to learn how to use Emacs with as short a learning
curve as possible and if they can apply knowledge that they already have
then that process is going to be quicker.

Seriously, I don't know what a standard installation of emacs is anyway.
I've never bothered to use one, the only reason Emacs is on any of the
Unix machines here is because I installed it and then promptly pointed
it at my .emacs file.  The other Unix users here are all vi fans and
just don't have the time or inclination to learn a new editor with a
notoriously steep learning curve (especially since vi is everywhere and
emacs isn't).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that people learn a very customized
version of Emacs anyway, I might not worry about teaching them to rebind
keys per se, but I might well want to tell them that there are
alternative binding that they might well find easier.


Stephen F. Heffner wrote:
> Lennart Borgman spake thusly:
>> IMHO CUA-bindings are that important for windows users that 
>> they deserve 
>> a place in the tutorial. I believe cua-mode makes it much 
>> easier for a 
>> windows user to learn and use Emacs.
> I guess that's true, if you assume:
>     o The typical newbie is unwilling and/or unable to learn the standard
>       Emacs key bindings, and will therefore never use Emacs unless it's
>       made to operate like a Windows app
>     o The person will never use Emacs on any other platform, e.g. Linux
>     o The person doesn't mind being locked into the "Windows way" of doing
>       things
> Certainly for some people these assumptions will be true; the question is what
> proportion of the potential Emacs user base on Windows falls into that group.
> However, as newbies gain experience and do more things with Emacs, they will
> find that CUA only covers the basics, and they will have to learn the "Emacs
> way" anyway, in order to progress in proficiency.
> I started using Emacs on VMS and moved to Windows much later, so my fingers
> know the original bindings as my lungs know how to breathe.  IMHO, they're not
> bad WRT ergonomics.  At least they're 2-finger chords, unlike some Windows 
> apps
> that require the digital equivalent of the "Twister" game to accomplish (Emacs
> jokes to the contrary notwithstanding).  And, as I mentioned before, they let
> a touch-typist concentrate on thinking instead of looking at the keyboard...
> My 2c (plain) as usual
> Steve Heffner
> Stephen F. Heffner, President        | Phone:  +1(480)626-5503
>          ------------                | Fax:    +1(480)626-7618
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> meta-tool
Guy Gascoigne-Piggford

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