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RE: Info tutorial is out of date; mouse usage

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Info tutorial is out of date; mouse usage
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 14:13:39 -0700

    > 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

No one has proposed teaching people how to use the mouse to navigate etc. We
do not *need* to *teach* that - it's *obvious*, immediate, apparent, QED,
CQFD. Even the blind can tell that a `Next' button is there. You said it:
"The visual aids for mouse usage are available anyway."

The same is not true of `n', `m', etc. - those are not obvious. However,
users need *not* use those shortcuts at all to learn how to use Info and
what features Info offers. And they can still see that those shortcuts are
available by looking 1) in the menu-bar Info menu or 2) in the `h'
keybindings list that I proposed. No need to use `n', and no need to teach

The reason for taking a tour of the menu bar is not to teach how to use the
menu bar to do things; it is to teach the real content of Info; it is to
*get to* that content as quickly as possible, without teaching any
navigational preliminaries.

If you want, instead, to take the tour of important Info functionalities by
using `h' (the version I proposed: just a list of key bindings with one-line
descriptions), that's OK with me too. The point is to get to the important
stuff first, and not teach `n', `p', `u', etc. So, have the tutorial teach
`h' first (the bindings list) if you like, and then use that to explore `i',
`s', `g', `l', SPC, DEL, and so on. I don't care about the menubar and the
mouse - it's about the *functionalities*.

    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.

Again, there is no need to teach use of the mouse in the Info tutorial. Or
the toolbar. Or the menubar. Those are all obvious.

Teaching use of the mouse functionalities that you propose (selection, etc.)
could be useful, but not as part of the *Info* tutorial - it has nothing to
do with Info.

    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.

Absolutely no one has proposed that kind of thing - never, no how, no way,
no sir; so please stop imagining that boogey man. The point is, on the
contrary, to get rid of teaching how to navigate structural links.

And no one has ever proposed omitting mention of keyboard shortcuts for
operations carried out, for example, by mouse. Please reread the posts.

In fact, for all I care, you could even rename Next, etc. links to include
their shortcuts, like we do in the menu: Next (`n'): Foo Bar. I'm *not*
proposing that, but I wouldn't object strongly. We should not have to teach
`n' (or `Next'), IMO.

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