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Re: cua-mode and the tutorial

From: Lennart Borgman
Subject: Re: cua-mode and the tutorial
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 06:37:28 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20060719)

Richard Stallman wrote:
I don't see much point in teaching an absolute beginner standard Emacs
if that is not what he will get when he runs Emacs normally.
Maybe this is wishful thinking? That new users will use Emacs standard key bindings only? It is hard for me to believe they will.

Is it not plausible that they have been using CUA keys and want to use that in Emacs? I was one of the new users that would not have been using Emacs without CUA mode. A usability expert gave these three simple rules of thumb:

   Ease of use:
   how efficient is the software when used 40 hours a week.
   Ease of learning:
   how quickly can the user build an overview and feel in control of
   the software, when used for the first time.
   Ease of remembering:
   how familiar and reassuring is the software for the user, when it is
   used only occasionally.

The second rule seems to apply here.

Another big potential user base is of course those who used VIM or vi before. (I happen to be one of those too.)

Another idea occurs to me: display the list of changed bindings
together with a message like this:

    The tutorial won't work for you, because someone
    has customized your Emacs, changing these basic commands.
    Probably whoever set up Emacs for you did it in a nonstandard way.
    Please ask him to teach you to use this nonstandard Emacs
    or else ask him to change your Emacs setup back to standard.
Is it not quite likely that the person who set up Emacs is the user himself? He might have read some advice on how to get started and customized Emacs to use CUA mode.

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