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RE: Key bindings proposal

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: RE: Key bindings proposal
Date: Wed, 04 Aug 2010 00:54:24 +0900

Uday S Reddy writes:

 > When new users come to using a tool like Emacs, their first mode of
 > interaction is via the menubar, used with the mouse.  The second might
 > be to use keyboard accelerators.

Seems unlikely to me.  If keyboard accelerators were so important,
those users would all at least try XEmacs, which has integrated
keyboard accelerators for a decade or so.  In fact, a *lot* of effort
was put into making XEmacs look and feel more familiar to the "new new
user crowd" around the turn of the century: menu accelerators,
sticky modifiers, tab controls, progress gauges, shifted motion
extends selection, and on Windows, native dialogs for file selection,
antialiased fonts, copy/cut/paste integration with the Windows
clipboard, and a proper printer device.[1]

But I've never seen a huge flood of new XEmacs users, and *no* new
contributors, from that crowd.  The new users are mostly the kind of
folk who read software manuals for fun (or to pass the time when
they're sitting where the sun don't shine).  And the new contributors
all read the manuals.

 > And, Emacs has to fit in.


 > If people like Xah Lee or Lennart have to fork Emacs in order to
 > make it suitable to groups of users,

That's not why they "have to" fork Emacs.  They have to fork for other
reasons, then as long as they're forked anyway, they redo the UI in
their forks.

BTW, you forgot David Reitter, who must fork because Aquamacs is
dedicated to implementing features that make his proprietary platform
(the Mac) more attractive for users than free platforms -- and such
features are not allowed as a matter of Emacs policy.  Nevertheless,
he has over 50 credits in the Emacs ChangeLogs.  Lennart has half as
many.  Xah Lee has *none*.  Hmmm....

[1]  I *think* these are all in 21.4, which was released in April
2001.  But it's been a while since I used 21.4 regularly.

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