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Re: Info tutorial is out of date

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Info tutorial is out of date
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 10:38:45 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Good morning, Drew!

On Mon, Jul 17, 2006 at 04:01:16PM -0700, Drew Adams wrote:
>     > To me, structural navigation is not the goal; it is a means
>     > to achieve the
>     > goal, which is getting info from a manual (whether quick look-up or
>     > front-to-back reading).

>     Reading a manual in order is one paradigm of learning a package.  So
>     we cannot dispose of the structural navigation keys.

> No. The proper conclusion is that we cannot dispose of *structural
> navigation*. This does not necessarily have anything to do with *keys*.

Just like travelling by car doesn't necessarily have anything to do with
the steering wheel or brake pedal, you mean?

> Anyway, no one proposed to dispose of either structural navigation or
> structural-navigation keys. The proposal was to *postpone* (not dispose
> of) *teaching* about structural-navigation *keys*. Each of those 3
> qualifiers is important.
This is what gets up my nose about what you're proposing.  All your
proposals would marginalise keyboard use.  Please recognise this, and
acknowledge that it isn't just a minor side effect, it's a critical and
essential feature of your proposed change.

You've described me and a few other people as "mouse haters".  This is
uncalled for, since my only "hate" is the resentment at being forced to
use the animal myself.  It would be more apt to describe the "other side"
as "keyboard haters": they are steadily erradicating keyboard use for
anything other than typing letters and numbers.  Firstly, they move the
documentation of key sequences away from where people will see them (as
in Gnome), then they make them unusably clunky (SuSE 8.0's installation
program was like this - that was the last SuSE I ever bought), thirdly
they leave them non-functional, presumably by bolting them on as an
afterthought and not testing them (there are lots of proprietary programs
like this).

You're proposing the first of these things.  If you "postpone" their
description to a place where it costs readers effort to find, that's
hardly better than leaving them out altogether.  I can assure you it is
maddeningly frustrating to read about some interesting feature described
with mouse actions, then have to search out a node called "Keyboard
Shortcuts", scan through a long, long table to find what could be this
feature, try it out, then somehow get back to the original node.

The structural navigation keys need to be described together with
structural navigation.  Surely?

> I didn't paint things in black & white terms, and it's not honest to
> characterize my proposal that way.

Please recognise the validity of the way other people see your proposal.


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