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Re: Info tutorial is out of date; mouse usage

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Info tutorial is out of date; mouse usage
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 22:28:47 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Dieter Wilhelm <address@hidden> writes:

> David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:
>> "Drew Adams" <address@hidden> writes:
>>>     `n' and `p' are not shortcuts - they're the prime method of
>>>     using the functions.  Rather, the mouse equivalents should be
>>>     regarded as ambages.
>>> Another in the Mouseless-That-Roared camp, eh? A small, but very
>>> vocal and militant minority, apparently.
>> It does not give you any thoughts that from your "majority", you are
>> the only one to speak up?
> Your perspective is a bit biased.  I would assume that Emacs
> developers tend to shortcuts. But what is with the "normal" users?
> I'd like to speak out for the mute majority and Drew Adams.

I don't get your point.  You present the mouse as a crutch when people
refuse to learn a more direct way.  But the purpose of a tutorial
is not to make people rely on crutches.  The visual aids for mouse
usage are available anyway: we don't need to teach people how to use

What requires teaching with regard to a mouse is not how to press
labelled buttons.  Things like marking regions, dragging, cutting,
using scrollbars and so on: those are mouse functionality that
requires teaching.  Pressing labelled buttons doesn't, except for
buttons with incomprehensible labels.  I would consider it ok to
mention the toolbar buttons (which are just labelled with graphical
stuff) in a tutorial, and it would actually be a good idea to show
them as pictograms (info can do graphics, can't it?) when doing so.

But I don't see the point in mentioning that clicking an a "Next" line
will change to the next node.  And in particular I don't see the point
in omitting to mention the keyboard command for it.

> So the question is should the Emacs developers pander to the habits
> of casual, lazy, pampered masses?  I think yes, because the
> facilities are there and a few of these operator might be gradually
> guided to an "advanced" stage.

But the point of being "casual, lazy, pampered" with regard to the
mouse is that one does not need to remember how to do things.  And if
one does not need to remember, one does not require an explanation in
the first place.

We _do_ cater for that sort of laziness already by providing the

I don't know why you took this off-list without giving a reason, so I
post the reply back to the list again.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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