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RE: Info tutorial is out of date

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Info tutorial is out of date
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 10:39:48 -0700

    > It's just that learning that first gets in the way of learning the
    > real subject matter of Info: getting information from the manual.

    sometimes people get info from a manual by sequential browsing.
    for some manuals/people/situations, this is the most natural way.

    the attitude is not "i want to find out foo, don't hold me back
    and waste my time w/ anything that is not foo!".

    instead, it is "i think foo is in there somewhere, i'll just look
    over this stuff before and around it while i'm at it.  who knows?
    these might be related to foo or make it even clearer when i find it."

Agreed 100%, and I've stated that more than once in this thread. Both
browsing and reading the manual from front to back are useful ways to "get
information from the manual", in addition to, say, search and look-up in an
index, TOC, or glossary. All ways of getting information from the manual are
useful subjects for the tutorial.

I've stated time and again that I consider teaching SPC and DEL to be
important. SPC is really all you need to read a manual from front to back,
and together with `Next', `Previous' and the other structural-navigation
buttons and links, SPC provides all you need to browse at will, in any

FWIW, here are some of the places (quotes), throughout my posts on this
thread, where I stressed the importance of teaching SPC and DEL:

* In addition to the features in the menu-bar menu, teach SPC and DEL -
that's about it. [That's from my first post, opening the thread.]

* The most important functions are `i', `s', `g', `l', SPC, DEL, and...

* ...presented along with SPC and DEL, which should have a high priority,

* It's also important to teach the key bindings that are not in the menu-bar
menu - SPC and DEL.

* 1) teach what Info is about, first;
  2) start using the obvious how-to (e.g. links, buttons,
     menu-bar), to teach #1;
  3) teach the non-obvious how-to (e.g. SPC, DEL) also;
  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 across.

* (`h' would mention SPC and DEL also, which the menu-bar menu doesn't

* I also mentioned the need to have specific tutorial instruction for those
keys (e.g. SPC and DEL) that are *not* so obvious.

* On the contrary, didn't I say that SPC and DEL should be taught explicitly
(and early) in the tutorial, because they are not obvious (visible)?

I don't see how anyone reading my posts can think that I don't acknowledge
that reading the manual from front to back and browsing it are both ways to
"get information from the manual", and therefore subjects for the tutorial.
I'm sure lots of people have given up on reading all of my posts (I don't
blame them!), but for those who have read them, I don't see how they could
not understand that I recognize manual browsing as important.

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