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Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly


From: PT
Subject: Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2005 18:55:19 +0100
User-agent: Opera M2/7.54 (Win32, build 3865)

On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 18:16:24 +0100, David Kastrup <address@hidden> wrote:

PT <address@hidden> writes:

On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 17:22:49 +0100, David Kastrup <address@hidden> wrote:

The question is: is more people using Emacs a good thing at all?
Or is it only an additional burden (more clueless people on the
help forums, etc.)?

You are trying to frame loaded questions.

No, it was a sincere question. And if the answer is no, it's not a
good thing then I'm okay with it.

What is "a good thing"?
More people using Emacs is not a worthwhile objective per se.  If it
were, we should replace Emacs by toiletpaper, and its user base would
explode.  A worthwhile objective for a developer is to have Emacs
become a more productive tool for his work.  This is not unrelated to
the size of its user base, since developers usually tend to start out
as users.

Exactly. I don't know what resources are at the emacs developers'
disposal (do they work on it on their free time? is some of them
paid to work on Emacs?),

Most work on Emacs in their free time.  There have been times in the
past where a main developer got employed by the FSF for completing a
particular essential task or feature.

but if companies see more value in emacs then they might even
sponsor developing some new features for them.

Emacs has a rather strict copyright assignment policy to the FSF, and
it has a rather strict "if RMS does not think it a good idea right
now, it does not get in" policy.  While there have been corporate or
at least institutional contributions (in particular MULE comes to
mind), this is by no means easy to do.

[...]

Emacs has not shown itself to accommodate systematic corporate
involvement well.  It will as far as I can see always be dependent on
dedicated individuals instead of corporate support, simply because you
can't make a business plan involving Emacs development and timelines.

I see. In that case there really is no obvious benefit of devoting resources to make Emacs more newbie friendly.

BTW, it seems Eclipse will fill this space instead of Emacs. It is universal tool platform - an open extensible IDE for anything and nothing in particular.

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