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

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Why does the tutorial talk about C-n/C-p etc?
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2016 16:40:56 +0200

> From: Yuri Khan <address@hidden>
> Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2016 17:38:49 +0600
> Cc: Emacs developers <address@hidden>,
>       Phillip Lord <address@hidden>
> On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 5:21 PM, Filipp Gunbin <address@hidden> wrote:
> >>   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?
> >
> > What's wrong with this?  A user may be in text console.
> There’s nothing wrong with mentioning that Emacs *can also* function
> in a text console, with several major restrictions (namely, the
> keyboard input has an additional indirection layer, and the sets of
> fonts and colors are severely reduced). But it is reasonable to assume
> and encourage that a novice user will try the GUI version first.

But all the tutorial does is say "IF you are using a graphical
display".  So we are going to bikeshed about a condition that might be
true more often than false, and to which the tutorial paid a "tax" of
6 words?

> Also, pretty much all potential new users (i.e. the target audience of
> the tutorial) already know what a scrollbar is.

It is a non-trivial decision where to draw the line about what is
"common knowledge" and shouldn't be explained.  Once again, the "tax"
is a single sentence, so what's the harm?

In any case, I suggest to postpone any further arguments until someone
actually submits patches to make the tutorial better.  The tutorial
should be considered as a whole, not sentence by sentence.  It is
currently written from a certain POV that guides most of the text in a
consistent way.  You cannot change a sentence here and there without
making the text inconsistent.  So a change like the one that I think
is proposed will require quite a thorough rewrite, which makes
arguments about individual sentences and phrases futile.

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