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Re: First draft of the Emacs website

From: Valentijn
Subject: Re: First draft of the Emacs website
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2015 14:05:29 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.24 (2015-08-30)

On 03/12 16:58, Drew Adams wrote: 
> John,
> My comments might have suggested that to you, but I don't think they suggest 
> that.
> I too think the site should address itself to, among others, and in 
> particular, new users and young new users.
> I disagree that mention of Lisp need be offputting to such people. On the 
> contrary, I think that we can point to the advantages of Emacs being a Lisp 
> environment and being user-extensible by way of Lisp (among other advantages).
> We can agree to disagree about that. But I, no less than you, I think, have 
> new users and young users in mind. 
> Just because I have a grey beard, that does not mean that my suggestions are 
> not aimed at those without grey beards and those (with or without beard, and 
> regardless of color) who might be new users.
> If I were a 13-year old, and I knew little or nothing about Lisp or Emacs, I 
> would be interested to hear something about Emacs being bathed in Lisp and 
> being, in fact, a Lisp environment, and that I (yes, as only a newbie Emacs 
> user) could use some simple Lisp to extend and customize Emacs to fit my 
> 13-year-old self. 
> That would be something that attracted me, as one 13 year-old, not something 
> that put me off. All newbies, and all 13 year-olds, are not the same.
> It has to be presented carefully, of course. There should be no impression 
> that one has to know Lisp to use Emacs. That doesn't mean that we can't 
> mention Lisp as one of the BIG advantages that Emacs has to offer. Not to 
> mention that would be, well, burying the lead - the main story. IMHO.
> Drew,


I'm might be able, as a seventeen year old (since two days!), to a somewhat 
interesting perspective on this. Some background information which might be 
useful:  I'm a GNU/Linux user for the past two/threeish years, emacs user since 
a year, a ex-vim user and tend to use the commandline a lot.

You're on the right track with the lisp thing and it's a very important thing 
to talk about but you're forgetting that the word Lisp doesn't really mean 
anything to people as young as me. I mostly know it as the thing that powers in 
Emacs and the old AI labs. What Lisp was to you is what Python is for us (at 
least I assume). Putting the emphasis on Emacs having a full porgramming 
language which just happens to be Lisp is, in my opinion, a better idea.

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, things that made me interested in Emacs 
was the ease of customization and the high amount of plugins available. One of 
the biggest thing that annoyed me with vim is how slow it would get if you 
tried to install any plugin on it. It would take a minute to start up. 

Another thing are the great tools that Emacs has. Things like org-mode, 
eshell/ansi-term, gnus, etc... are one of the things we really should be 
spending more time on promoting. Recently I at least got one of my friends to 
try Emacs simply because he liked org-mode so much. Somewhat related is the 
fact that Emacs is such a powertool also helps. It really does feel like you 
can do anything and more with it.

Thank you for your time,


BOFH excuse #122:

because Bill Gates is a Jehovah's witness and so nothing can work on St. 
Swithin's day.

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