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Re: basic question: going back to dired


From: Lennart Borgman (gmail)
Subject: Re: basic question: going back to dired
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 12:56:17 +0200
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Tim X wrote:
"Lennart Borgman (gmail)" <address@hidden> writes:

Tim X wrote:
Agreed. I don't like Xah Lee's proposals. But I think that he's right
that Emacs' use of outdated terminology sometimes hampers adoption by
new users.

so what? I'm not trying to be argumentative, but what does it really
matter if new users have a bit of a learning curve?
I think many have tried to explain why it matters. Please see the archive
in Emacs Devel and other places.


I've seen the arguements, but don't agree they are sound.

I do not know what you mean. Which arguments?

While probably sounding
provocative, how many new uses who are not prepared to learn emacs
terminology are actually going to contribute anything?
To understand this I think you have to consider psychology and how our
brain works.


Well, my first degree was in psychology and I'd have to say I think
there is very little concrete or definite psychology can offer. There is
little concensus in the field - its closer to philosophy than anything
scientific or factual. It may help in the sense that you can probably
find a theory that supports  your arguement - but at the same time, its
easy to find another one that refutes it.

Are you really sure you understood what you read then? There is a lot of research that you can use on the level you are arguing here.

On other levels there can be no positive research. There you have to think in a different way. That does not mean you can't think about those things.

My 'feeling' is that worrying too much about learning curves and the
experiences of new users is really short term thinking and really
doesn't buy much.

My feeling in the case of Emacs is quite the opposite. In many other cases I would surely agree, but not when it comes to Emacs.

Far better to concentrate on functionality and
extending/pushing the boundries of what can be done or presenting
alternative ways of doing things to the main stream. If what the
software can do makes it stand out, new users will be willing to go
through the pain of a learning curve.

There are currently too few developers to actually get things done quickly. My impression is that it is partly because new users find it difficult to get started with Emacs. Some have also told me that they find the attitude hostile whenever they say something about it. That has made them leave.

I just don't see any real benefit in trying to make emacs
'popular'. Make it unique and stnad out instead.

There is no real benefit in just making it stand out. Most people want the features, not that it is very special.

Tim





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