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Re: Info tutorial is out of date

From: Thien-Thi Nguyen
Subject: Re: Info tutorial is out of date
Date: 18 Jul 2006 13:34:18 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.4

"Drew Adams" <address@hidden> writes:

> On the other foot, isn't it maddeningly frustrating to have to
> search out a node about how to look look up a topic in the
> manual, and plod through relatively uninteresting lessons on `n'
> and `p' to finally get to the heart of the matter?

i don't think so.  a good tutorial is comforting at the beginning
like that, because review of familiar concepts (in this case
"next" and "previous" being consistently and coherently accessible
with `n' and `p', just like much the rest of emacs) eases the mind
into accepting new ones.  kind of like stretching before jogging.

if the concepts are not familiar, then hey, bonus.  new stuff to
enjoy.  if the concepts are familiar to the point of frustration,
a few taps on (the familiar) `n' and you are on your way.

remember, the active verb from the reader's pov is "to learn".
novelty helps learning, but also overlapping review.  that is the
actual "heart of the matter".  we cannot teach (whisk people to
the destination), we can only make the journey pleasant (present
things in a way that builds consistently upon the past).

there is no real need to wow people w/ info's features, as cool
as they are.  there is, however, a need to prevent mental schism
between info and other emacs subsystems.  if the schism can be
averted, people will wow themselves w/ what they find.  bonus:
they will be less likely to feel put upon, hoodwinked, manhandled
maltreated, rushed-along, perturbed, railroaded, cajoled or coerced.

IMHO, moving basic navigation commands to the end, as an
afterthought, runs the risk of these misunderstandings arising.
it's always easier to forego a feast than to forgive a famine.


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