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Re: Efforts to attract more users?

From: Adrian Robert
Subject: Re: Efforts to attract more users?
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2010 13:28:08 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (http://gmane.org/)

 <joakim <at> verona.se> writes:

> I would like to emphasize that I don't think Emacs should do things the
> same way Eclipse does them, we need to find Emacsy ways. Perhaps by
> improving the Emacs documentation so it is a more obvious entry point
> rather than clicking about in menus. Perhaps the info documentation
> could be enhanced so it works more like the web, with improved search
> facilities, support for Wizards in the info documentation, etc.

It's hard to say.  I see lots of developers even using Eclipse in completely
non-optimal ways, because there seems to be some kind of bias towards using
mouse and on-the-screen display elements for tasks.  For example, laboriously
navigating a large class hierarchy using the tree display on the left to find a
class they know they name of, rather than just invoking "Find Resource" whether
by keystroke or menu.  Even developers that know about the command still persist
in this.  What is it?  Habit, bias away from the keyboard?

Whatever it is, just adding eye candy or wizards to emacs won't change its
nature as a keyboard-oriented editing system, and add-ons like JDEE and ECB,
great as they are, are never going to match what a widget-oriented system like
Eclipse provides.

For that matter, why is VIM popular?  I've never seen how the weird,
line-oriented, moded editing style has anything to compare in ease of use or
simplicitly to learn with emacs, yet developer after developer uses it as their
"second choice or remote" editor -- while considering emacs "too hard" or "too
complicated".  (?)

I do think the basic mouse and selection interaction there is in emacs needs to
continue to be brought more in line with other other apps.  The little things,
getting default line and word-wrapping modes right, enabling forward delete by
default for delete key, etc..  Maybe some kind of reasonable default right-click
menus (based on mode of course).


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