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Intermediate tutorial shipped with Emacs

From: Spencer Baugh
Subject: Intermediate tutorial shipped with Emacs
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2015 22:19:41 -0400

Hi emacs-devel,

I think it would be good if Emacs shipped with an intermediate tutorial,
covering topics beyond the basic tutorial. Reading the entire manual is
great, but wouldn't it be nice if there was a short/medium-length
overview of some of the cool features of Emacs? Kind of like
http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/tour/ but omitting the introductory
material covered by the tutorial, and more up to date. (That page
doesn't mention eshell, for example!)

There are surely many documents on the web that tour intermediate Emacs
features; I've written one myself. But I think it would be better if
such a document was part of Emacs, either as part of the manual or
otherwise, as easily accessible as the tutorial.

Topics-wise, I envision it would briefly cover things like:
- keyboard macros
- the various ways to get help inside Emacs
- narrowing
- dired
- calc
- et cetera

The hope would be to give users a taste of some of the more advanced
features of Emacs. Then, if they are faced with a situation that one of
those features that they read about in the intermediate tutorial would
be useful for, they'll search the help system for more information
rather than be frustrated.

As an example, consider narrowing. If a user didn't already know
narrowing existed, they probably wouldn't even bother searching for the
feature; it isn't obvious how useful until you know about it. A user
without knowledge of narrowing would use other hacks.

As I said earlier, I have written such a document in org, because I
needed reference material to provide my students when I do Emacs
workshops. (It's still mostly a draft, and it's somewhat specific to the
workshops, so if you want to see it send me mail.) 

So, I wanted to see if emacs-devel thought this was a good idea, or a
bad idea, or if anyone had any suggestions. I would be happy to adapt
the document I've already written if that makes sense.

Spencer Baugh

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