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Re: Emacs learning curve

From: Tom
Subject: Re: Emacs learning curve
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2010 08:34:35 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (http://gmane.org/)

David Kastrup <dak <at> gnu.org> writes:
> >
> > There is no reason to use the word yank for an operation which practically
> > every other system calls paste. It's one of those totally unnecessary 
> > roadblocks for newbies in emacs.
> Au contraire.  If the operations were named "cut" and "paste", the
> newbie would be completely without mnemonics for C-k, C-y and their ilk.

This could be the other part of making Emacs more easy to use for

For cut/copy/paste the most popular systems all have an accepted
de facto standard:

GNOME/KDE/Windows: control-X/C/V
Macintosh: Command X/C/V

A new user who takes a look at emacs (while having lots of other
options like Eclipse and stuff) obviously accepts these keyboard
shortcuts to work.

C-y is not superior to C-v. It's different and has no intrinsic
advantage. I understand hardcore emacs users don't want to use
different keys and it is perfectly acceptable. But they can
easily configure emacs while newbies can't. The default Emacs
configuration should support the keys above (and similar editing
keys commonly used in different operation systems) and there
should be a single setting like (classic-mode 1) or something
which seasoned emacs users could put into their config files to
make keys work like it works today.

It will not happen, obviously, judging from the responses sent to
this thread, because veteran users want to keep things the way
they are. They want people to change their ways to use emacs,
instead of changing emacs to be more similar to popular tools to
ease the entry for new users. Most people won't change their
usual ways for the sake of using emacs, because they expect basic
things (like copy/paste) to work as they work everywhere else out
of box without any configuration. And it's an acceptable
expectation. Why should they spend time to configure such basic
things to try an obscure editor? They won't do that and that's
why with time emacs will probably be more and more an obscure editor.

It's sad, because it's such a great tool, and I don't want to see
it fade away in obscurity. But if easy of entry is not increased
for casual users then it is the most probable future for our
beloved editor.

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