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Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2005 15:31:35 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Brian Elmegaard <address@hidden> writes:

> "Eli Zaretskii" <address@hidden> writes:
>> Please be specific; slogans are not useful when you are criticizing a
> Four fundamental issues would be: [1] Possibility for horizontal
> scroll,

C-x <  and C-x >

> [2] sizeable and cascadable windows instead of buffers inside the
> same frame,

Windows _are_ sizable, and what is displayed _is_ a window, not a
buffer (you can have buffers that are not displayed, or buffers
displyed in several windows at once).  Drag an unused spot of any
modeline in a split frame (C-x 2) up and down or use C-x ^ to enlarge.
If you split windows vertically (with C-x 3), drag the point in the
mode line under the scrollbar left and right.

> [3] heavy extension of the icon toolbars and [4] distinction between
> 'open' and 'new' file.

The problems with "new" (basically nameless buffers) are:

a) There is no associated mode.  Emacs' most important property is
that it has editing modes and syntax highlighting and keybindings for
most tasks readily available.  It will almost always be easier to
specify a file name to work with than the name of an Emacs mode.

b) There is no associated file name.  When exiting and saving
automatically (like the desktop package does), Emacs has no place to
put the file.

c) There is no associated autosave file.  If you crash after two hours
of work, your work will get lost.

d) Lots of modes offer running/compiling/testing your program using
external tools that need accessible files.

In short: I don't see how Emacs can benefit from that distinction.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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