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Re: Info tutorial is out of date

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Info tutorial is out of date
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 02:25:27 -0400

    If you want, the tutorial could be split in two: first "What Info Is" (with
    simple how-to, to get the points across), second "How To Use Info

That is a good idea, in a general sense.  However, I am not sure
it is really necessary, for the reason below.

                  My point is this: first things first. If I don't understand
    what Info is all about, why would I go through the effort of learning and
    practicing its key bindings?

Isn't it obvious to everyone what Info is all about?  It's all about
browsing documentation files.  Menus, and moving up, moving thru a
series using next and previous, are going to be obvious to anyone that
has used the WWW very much.

Thus, practically speaking, I think there isn't much to be achieved by
having a separate easier section which just teaches you "what Info is
all about".

    I also mentioned the need to have specific tutorial instruction for those
    keys (e.g. SPC and DEL) that are *not* so obvious. Teaching `n' right away
    is a waste of time, not because `n' is useless, but because there is an
    obvious (if perhaps somewhat slower) way to do the same thing.

That might be a good point.

    As to the fingers-leaving-the-keyboard argument: That is not such a strong
    argument for Info, where people are reading, not editing.

I agree, that is not a crucial issue for Info.

    1) teach what Info is about, first;

    2) start using the obvious how-to (e.g. links, buttons, menu-bar), to teach

    3) teach the non-obvious how-to (e.g. SPC, DEL) also;

Those three are an idea worth trying.  I have doubts that this would
be much easier, but there's no harm in trying it out, and maybe the
results would be good.

    4) don't bother teaching the obvious, if more-efficient, how-to (e.g. `n'),
    except possibly as an efficiency booster, after getting the real message

We definitely should teach these commands later on.

The reason for focusing on n and p rather than SPC and DEL
is partly historical.  Originally, SPC and DEL only moved
within a node.

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