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Re: Have you all gone crazy? Was: On being web-friendly and why info mus

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Have you all gone crazy? Was: On being web-friendly and why info must die
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2014 12:10:45 +0900

Eli Zaretskii writes:
 > > Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2014 13:47:45 +0900
 > > From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden>
 > > Eli Zaretskii writes:
 > > 
 > >  > > The problem is how do you assemble the results [of analysis of
 > >  > > user browsing behavior] into an "index" for the manual?
 > >  > 
 > >  > That's one issue that needs to be solved as part of the project.
 > > 
 > > IMO, it's insoluble, without violating some auxiliary principles of
 > > the GNU Project.
 > Only because you are trying to solve a problem that doesn't need
 > solving.  No one said we need to communicate personal behavior traits
 > back to the master manual.

I thought I did say that, and I am asserting it now.  Improving
indicies is *not* a matter of automatically constructing macros for
common keystrokes of a particular user.  The reason people are pushing
web access so hard is that they are focusing on newer users who don't
know appropriate search terms yet, and may not have the documentation
installed or even know how to access it if it is installed.  Maybe
it's peculiar to my population of students, but my experience with
college students and the bottom half of graduate students is that they
suck *badly* at picking good search terms, even in areas where they
allegedly have interest and background.  I see no reason to suppose
that typical programmers are much better, especially given that much
Emacs terminology is (nowadays) idiosyncratic.

Yes, personal indicies can help, but they don't solve the problem for
first-time users.  What can help for the first time search is
following the dynamic search behavior of many new users and
correlating initial search terms with eventual target nodes -- but it
only helps first-timers if it makes it back to the master index.

 > Not to mention the fact that this feature is not the most important
 > part of such a front end, at least not in my eyes.

That's a valid argument, but one I disagree with (maybe not *the most*
important, but I consider it very important).

 > Keep in mind that the problem which needs to be solved here is much
 > smaller and simpler than the one Google solved and continues to
 > solve every day: we have a much narrower domain with a much smaller
 > and simpler terminology.

Start with "doctor.el", right?  Good luck, guys! :-)

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