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first impressions

From: Dan Jacobson
Subject: first impressions
Date: 21 Feb 2002 02:06:31 +0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.1

I do emacs -q --no-site-file and I notice that the (c) copyright FSF
line is 1/2 cut off at bottom.  OK, perhaps influenced by my
.Xdefaults file.  If so what is the new command line I should use to
test a pure virgin emacs rather than the one I just used above?  Is it
possible to get the pure version state with one command line and
without messing with xrdb ... yes, what would the recommended
procedure for running a pure virgin emacs without messing things up
for the rest of this "uptime"?
(xrdb -remove emacs.*;emacs -q --no-site-file& sleep 100;
  xrdb -get_back_previous...)?

OK, I'm staring at the screen and it finally stabilizes with

;; This buffer is for notes you don't want to save, and for Lisp evaluation.
;; If you want to create a file, visit that file with C-x C-f,
;; then enter the text in that file's own buffer.

OK, but don't you want to also mention the Info system, and
Help... back in the old days much more was left on the screen in the
final stable state.  Some of us might be slow or non-native readers,
or over-wowed by emacs, [or on medication], that our eyes only lock
onto the stuff left sitting on the screen after all the dancing stuff
is finished.  By the way, the dancing stuff flits by too fast.  The
blue script word Emacs is hard to read at least on my dark background
... [Xdefauts again ... but this brings up a problem just like with
web pages: you specified the text color but didn't specify the
background.]  Anyways the blue script Emacs with the red GNU animal
don't look like the mark of a professional wall street company, and
can only be bad for business.

ProtoRMS> we are not in business.

Ok, then ask one of those GIMP artists to get you a new logo or

Anyways, the stuff that flits by on the intro screen are apparently
mouse targets, with no mention of the corresponding C-h
equivalents... don't want to scare users with mention of that old
fashioned ASCII stuff, I suppose...  Gee, mouse targets that flit by
so fast... OK we end up in the *scratch* buffer... perhaps there now
also say

        ;; OK, don't worry, emacs will not keep changing the screen any
        ;; more, I promise.  By the way, if you would like to slowly go
        ;; over the stuff that perhaps flitted by so fast, at least by some
        ;; people's standards, then hit C-h C-h C-h [C-h means hold down
        ;; the "Control key while tapping the h key], or use the mouse...

By the way don't say things in the minibuffer, as any slight
disturbance will cause them to disappear.

Currently we see
    "For information about the GNU Project and its goals, type C-h C-p."

Ok, but you might as well also put this in the *scratch* buffer along
with some other more basic stuff... OK, we hit C-h C-p and we see he
is talking about back in the old days or something... OK, right at the
top you need to mention "written 1998" lest one think that we are
reading OOOOldnews instead of waiting till the very bottom [but don't
say "copyright 1998", as "copyright" sounds too cold at top.]

OK, then it says 'originally published in the book "Open Sources"' OK,
but how about we move this to the end, lest we leave the wrong
impression [Free/Open], also if you must mention a book [a non free[?]
source of a free article] then shouldn't you have a proper reference?

Ok, back to the words beneath the logo, it says "... one component of a
Linux based GNU system" mmmm.... true that you probably only say this
when compilation on linux was detected, but doesn't making
assumptions/statements about the larger [compilation/installation]
environment seem like non-modular software bad practice... [I know it
is a point that you don't want anybody to miss, however lets say Linux
went away... those words would be still sitting there... well,
something like that... if it were me, I wouldn't mention Linux on the
"splash screen", and instead deal with it in the documentation,
e.g. C-h C-p ... anyway, Just like an advertiser would say
"Introducing the new Toyota Mavry, with Ford traction", not
"Introducing the new Toyota Mavry, with Ford traction, but not all
parts are Ford parts".

well something like that.  Anyway, Emacs says it is a component of some
system ... wow, software so smart that it notices what system it is a
component of and tells us, instead of minding its own modular
business... OK, what does it say when it is a component of a Microsoft
system?  Of some other system?   And, by, the, way, what do the other
components say? what does bc(1) say? what does dc(1) say, ed(1),
bash...?  which components are to say things and which are not to?
Where to draw the line?  Big components say things, little ones don't?
Quality components say things, puny punk ones don't?  How many MBytes
before the greeting message says something.  Many programs don't have
greeting messages, bc(1) does... [odd, it doesn't say how to at least
get more help there.]

Ok, thru my bonus brilliant analysis, if each program were to make
statements about the larger compilation environment, you would have to
increase your software maintenance budget 13 times to fix all those
wordings depending on any future changes to politics, those companies or
trademarks etc. that we need not be concerned about... instead the
matter is better handled using the C-h C-p paradigm, no?  More
modular, eh?  A full statement of your views, with date, instead of
"hardwiring" some assumptions about the compilation environment that
might look silly in 5 years, who knows.
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