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

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Casting as wide a net as possible (was: First draft of the Emacs website)
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2015 19:31:39 +0200

> Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2015 11:46:42 -0500
> From: John Yates <address@hidden>
> My thought was that what Emacs needs before all else is more
> users.

I don't think anyone disagrees.  I know I agree.

> 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".

Again, I think everyone agrees with this.

> 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?

I don't think anyone suggested anything even close.  Richard proposed
3 sentences to be included, where the site talks about Emacs being
based on Lisp.  3 sentences out of a whole site is not too much.  And
we do want to seduce those who are already intrigued by Lisp -- this
is part of casting the kind of a wide net that you mention.

Other parts of the site should advertise other aspects of Emacs, of

> 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.

That's one possible process.  But we don't want to build some single
model of it, because that would make the net more narrow.  We want to
appeal to people who are attracted by other means, including the
beauty of the extension language.  It doesn't have to be a

> 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.

Only if we push that too much.  But 3 sentences suggested by Richard
are not it.

> 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.

We don't want anything even close to a description, we want just a
hint, to lure them to learn more.  There's no need in external links
for that, we could manage such a short passage ourselves.  At least we
should try.

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