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Re: Why does the tutorial talk about C-n/C-p etc?

From: Phillip Lord
Subject: Re: Why does the tutorial talk about C-n/C-p etc?
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 15:07:26 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

>> From: address@hidden (Phillip Lord)
>> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 09:58:15 +0000
>> Cc: Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen <address@hidden>, address@hidden
>> The point of a tutorial is not to teach people to become brilliantly
>> efficent power users. It's to get them going, and to see the advantages
>> as quickly as possible.
> What do you suggest we teach them about the arrows that they don't
> already know?

What I suggest is that we don't teach them the arrow keys are not the
way to move the cursor around. This is what the tutorial does at the

Currently, we have on L40 (ish):

The first thing that you need to know is how to move around from place
to place in the text.

L65: You can use the PageUp and PageDn keys

L76: You can use the arrow keys

Seriously? New users already know to how move around from place to
place. It's like being a driving instructor and starting off with how to
open the door, or how to sit in the chair.

Other gems include:

  M-<chr>  means hold the META or EDIT or ALT

META or EDIT? Seriously? Before ALT which is what everyone has.

  L235: If you are using a graphical display, such as X or MS-Windows,
  there should be a tall rectangular area called a scroll bar on one
  side of the Emacs window.

If you are using a graphical display? I mean, of course, you are using a
graphical display?

  L238: If Emacs stops responding

i.e. if it's broken

Then disabled commands

  L277: Emacs can have several "windows"

An application with windows? Really? 

Oh, but we don't mean windows, we mean something else. It's okay, that's

  L893: Note that Emacs uses the term "frames"--described in the next
  section--for what some other applications call "windows"

Yes, on L893.

The tutorial is not wrong, nor is it missing anything. It's just
didactically from a different time, and I am sure it's putting many
people off.


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