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Re: Emacs, oldsters, newbiness

From: Paul R
Subject: Re: Emacs, oldsters, newbiness
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2008 13:15:22 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)

Hello Alex,

Alex> You are right. If you look around Emacs Wiki, you'll notice that
Alex> there's a set of pages reachable from the SiteMap that is geared
Alex> towards newbies. It tells them how the wiki works, how to
Alex> navigate, how to search, how to learn Emacs, and so on. Most of
Alex> this area is the work of Drew Adams. It is this kind of effort
Alex> that is required. Thank you, Drew Adams!

Yes, thank you Drew for constantly trying to look through newbies
eyes. It often gives good results.

Alex> My point is that looking at the Emcs Wiki on its own might be
Alex> short- selling it. It often works as a text resource for other
Alex> services -- web search, IRC bots, and maybe mailing lists and
Alex> newsgroups.

Yes, the content in EmacsWiki is very valuable. Yet, I undertand there
is room for improvement for finding documentation, and putting in in
shape to ease learning. But the most we talk about it, the more
I think it would be best as a separate project, working
collaboratively with emacswiki, picking some precious informations and
putting them in shape to provide information in a more comprehensive
shape for external readers.

Alex> It has been a long time since I posted a lot on
Alex> :)

and I'm glad to read your posts.

Alex> Oh and one last thing: Some defaults were in fact changed in
Alex> Emacs 23. I was confused. But I'm willing to make that sacrifice
Alex> if it attracts some new users to Emacs. Let's hope we're on the
Alex> right track.

Yes, some. Obviously emacs 23 will have some improvements in this
area, but it is hardly enough to qualify emacs as a friendly tool for

Also, I would bet you can revert your copy of emacs to the old beloved
behaviour in a matter of seconds, just because you know what you want
and you know how to set it up. That is why I don't see the point of
preserving defaults to suit experienced users. Defaults, really, must
strictly stick to what a *new* user expects, or at least to *common*
usability guidelines.


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