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Re: Emacs learning curve

From: Óscar Fuentes
Subject: Re: Emacs learning curve
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2010 03:44:35 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Sean Sieger <address@hidden> writes:

>     I have several times pointed out that it is the sum of the differences
>     that makes it difficult for new users. The stories about users wanting
>     to try but giving up partly because they realize they do not have time
>     to go through all the differences are frequent.
> This is ridiculous, Lennart.
> Not reading something because it doesn't `read' the way you want it to
> ... um, sounds like sheer laziness.

You are assuming that the begginner is determined to learn and use
Emacs. Nowadays this is a big assumption. People no longer is restricted
to a few options that a sysadmin installed. It would be wiser to arrange
things as if the user was taking a quick look at Emacs out of curiosity.

I learned about Emacs' existence circa 1998. It looked strange, complex
and primitive. Some years after I did the significant effort of learning
and configuring Emacs only after some strong recommendation from someone
whom I respect highly. Then we tried to proselytize among the members of
the programming community where both of us were quite active, but only
gained one or two converts. Although we convinced quite a few people to
try Emacs, the usual reaction was the same I had at the beginning:
intimidating, weird, unnecessarily complex... and they stopped there.


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