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Re: apropos apropos [was: how do i find out the platform emacs runs on?]


From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: apropos apropos [was: how do i find out the platform emacs runs on?]
Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 10:50:33 +0000
User-agent: tin/1.4.5-20010409 ("One More Nightmare") (UNIX) (Linux/2.0.35 (i686))

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> wrote on 24 Nov 2003 14:46:26 +0200:
>> From: Alan Mackenzie<address@hidden>
>> Newsgroups: gnu.emacs.help
>> Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 09:39:16 +0000

>> As a matter of interest, how should I have discovered the existence of
>> these commands?

> Help->Search Documentation from the menubar could be one way to find
> out.

OK.  I don't actually have a menubar (on a Linux console), but I suppose
that's my problem these days.  :-)

> However, I know about these commands for such a long time that I cannot
> even remember how I learned about their existence.  Probably, from NEWS
> or something.

>> Could it be that the "help" system could do with enhancement?

> It is IMHO a trivium that any help system of any software could do with
> enhancement ;-)  The question is: how?  Please feel free to suggest
> improvements if you have specific ideas.

I've tried to reconstruct how I discovered the help system when I was new
to Emacs.  I think that, having discovered C-h ?, I implicitly (but
mistakenly) understood that _ALL_ the help commands were listed by C-h ?.
Thus when I might have wanted `apropos-variable', I would have scanned
through C-h ?, failed to see it, then assumed it didn't exist.

Maybe inserting something like "Full details of these commands, and
further advanced help commands can be found in the Emacs manual." at the
bottom of the C-h ? page would help here.

Incidentally, on the manual page "Help", the first item in the menu is:

* Help Summary::        Brief list of all Help commands.

However, on the "Help Summary" page, there is no mention of M-x
apropos-variable and friends.

-- 
Alan Mackenzie (Munich, Germany)
Email: address@hidden; to decode, wherever there is a repeated letter
(like "aa"), remove half of them (leaving, say, "a").



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