[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Casting as wide a net as possible (was: First draft of the Emacs website

From: John Yates
Subject: Casting as wide a net as possible (was: First draft of the Emacs website)
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2015 11:46:42 -0500

Having first raised the issue of the merits of pitching Lisp
on the Emacs website allow me to chime in again.

My thought was that what Emacs needs before all else is more
users.  Period.  A large enthusiastic community of users will
spawn in time more accomplished, more advanced users.  Even if
the vast majority of those users never contribute to FSF nor
write any serious Lisp we still benefit from their spreading
the word.  And the larger the community the more the laws of big
numbers will guarantee we harvest some amount of new, younger

I would hope that our site would be not just a self-indulgent
love fest, a litany of all the things we - the advanced, deeply
committed users - love about Emacs.  Instead I imagine our site
as the place where a newbie becomes seduced by Emacs' clearly
wonderful and unique functionality, available "out of the box".
The site should make it clear and easy how to try out Emacs and
ensure as much as possible a very positive experience.  That
experience should be good enough to motivate some number of the
site's visitors to abandon permanently their current editor.
There might be some low key mention of future ecstasy to be
discovered down the road.  But the first order of business is
getting our newbie to try Emacs and conclude the (s)he likes it.

Do you seriously want to adopt the stance that if a would be user
does not drink the Lisp CoolAid then (s)he is not welcome to use
our editor?  Or at least (s)he has to get past our proselytizing?

A newbie following up a suggestion that (s)he checkout an editor
called Emacs should not be assailed by a religious pitch about how
(s)he should lust to use Emacs because its extension language is
superior to that used in other editors.  First off most users are
going to assess an editor based on what they came achieve right out
of the box.  After all until one has used a tool for a while one
has little sense of where one's personal itches lie.  Further, to
the extent the our newbie already has a favorable impression of
some other extension language pitching the virtues of Lisp could
well be a turn-off.  Net, we loose a potential convert who at the
least might have been another satisfied Emacs booster, and who
- were (s)he the sort of user prone to modifying tools - might
have come around in time to writing extensions and contributing
them back to the project.

For those who are interested (eg the 13 year old Drew postulated)
there are many easily discovered resources on the web describing
Emacs, Lisp, eLisp, etc.  We could easily include on our site a
curated list of links to the best of such resources.  If we feel
that there does not yet exist a sufficiently effusive description
of (e)Lisp we can write one and link to it.


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]