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Re: guided tour suggestions

From: David House
Subject: Re: guided tour suggestions
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 10:54:30 +0100

David Kastrup writes:
 > One of the problems with promoting Emacs nowadays are users who tried it 10
 > years ago and were not getting along with it. Dispelling their (and their
 > audience's) preconceptions is easier with more graphical material.

I think this is worthwhile.

 > I am aware that one of the most frequent customizations is turning off
 > the toolbar in order to maximize screen estate and minimize clutter.
 > For a live showoff of the skills of an experienced user, this might be
 > somewhat feasible.  But as soon as we are getting into (live or
 > off-line) tutorial reign, it becomes a much better idea to show off
 > and use the menus: that way, people have a chance of _following_ what
 > you are doing, and maybe even of doing it by themselves. 

True. If people install Emacs, try to follow along with the tour, then find
their Emacs looks totally different to the one in the screenshots, they're going
to be confused.

Perhaps we could have a little section in the tour showing off how customisable
Emacs is. We could say:

  If you want a more bare-bones Emacs, a good start might be to turn off some of
  the more prominent GUI features.

  [Screenshot showing Custom buffer with settings to turn off scrollbar, menus
  and toolbar, in an Emacs without those features activated.]

  Every single time a different colour or font is used, you can customise which
  one to use:

  [Screenshot showing an Emacs with a white-on-black colour scheme and a
  non-default font.]

  These are just the GUI customisations. Here's a selection of the other things
  you can change: 
  * Every single key binding in every single mode can be remapped, including
    mouse sequences.
  * You can redefine any function or command by writing Emacs Lisp.
  [... a few more things here]

  Because all of these options can be overwhelming, Emacs provides a powerful
  configuration interface, M-x custom:

  [Screenshot of the top Custom group.]

  http://emacswiki.org also contains a veritable library of common and
  not-so-common customisations.

Or something of the sort. I think this is an important part of Emacs we should
try to convey.

-David House, address@hidden

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