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Re: cua-mode and the tutorial

From: Kim F. Storm
Subject: Re: cua-mode and the tutorial
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2006 17:02:16 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Lennart Borgman <address@hidden> writes:

> Kim F. Storm wrote:
>> The first instruction is to type C-v ... and it doesn't work
>> as described!
> Do you mean that it does not work when cua-mode is enabled?

Yes, and neither with viper enabled.

> Well, it
> is a problem. One solution would be to remove CUA mode from the
> tutorial buffer as you suggests. However I feel uncomfortable with
> that solution. It puts a burden on the user, "please learn this now,
> but later on you are going to use that".


> A possible solution is perhaps to tell replace C-v in the tutorial
> with the actual key to use. However that requires rewriting the text
> since there are also sentences like "do it by holding down the CONTROL
> key while typing v". (And there are many languages to rewrite.) Maybe
> that sentence could be removed?

It could.  But again there are many languages to consider, and
this is part of text files, not generated in Lisp.

>> is partially or even completely hidden, so the whole point of the
>> tutorial is lost (you have to know how to scroll before you can
>> learn how to scroll ...).
> That is a good point. However most users will still be able to scroll
> with the arrow keys and the mouse.


>> It would be much better if you just placed a few yellow lines
>> near the top with the following wording:
>>  Some of the standard key bindings described in this tutorial
>>  have been modified, so Emacs may behave differently from
>>  what you learn here.  Click here for more details: [Details]
> Having less information there is maybe a solution, yes. And using help
> buffer for details. However I do believe that the tutorial should try
> to tell the actual key bindings that the user will use. Is not that
> much easier for those that use CUA mode for example?

But it gives it in the wrong language (except for the English tutorial).

Having just a few lines in English is ok IMO.

>> And then restore all key bindings (if possible) to their default
>> inside the tutorial.
> This was my original thought, but now I think it is important to let
> users of CUA mode and Viper mode learn about basic key bindings
> differences. I think a lot of users will have CUA mode enabled.

I hope so :-)  but with cua-mode enabled, many basic things in 
the tutorial could be explained quite differently -- but there 
is no way to do than in >1 languages.

> I welcome ideas. It is not very easy to make this working well. I can
> see we have slightly different opinions about what the tutorial should
> do, teach actual bindings or default bindings or maybe both. I tried
> the last.

I don't really care that much (it's a long time since I needed to run
the tutorial, and I never got used to the native bindings anyway).

But I still think it is confusing to offer a tutorial where the first
instruction given doesn't work if either of cua-mode or viper-mode is

Substituting the key with the actual key isn't good either.
E.g. printing <next> instead of C-v isn't really good either ... my
keyboard doesn't have a <next> key.  And we really do want to
teach the standard emacs bindings.

Maybe you could highlight [yellow background] C-v (and similar
bindings used in the tutorial) if they have non-standard bindings.
Then users will be alerted to the fact that they don't work as
expected and they should consult the instructions at the beginning of
the tutorial!  You could even put a tool-tip on them to show the
actual binding to use instead.

I agree that it is difficult to do this right -- given that the tutorial
exists in many languages.

Kim F. Storm <address@hidden> http://www.cua.dk

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