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

From: Clément Pit--Claudel
Subject: Re: Why does the tutorial talk about C-n/C-p etc?
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2016 15:14:10 -0400
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Thanks for the detailed answer Eli!

On 03/13/2016 03:03 PM, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
>> From: Clément Pit--Claudel <address@hidden>
>> Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2016 14:41:54 -0400
>> Here are a few things that I struggled with when I started using Emacs 
>> (phrased in terms of concepts that I was already familiar with)
>> * Opening and saving a file
>> * Copying (or cutting) and pasting
>> * Undoing, and in particular the notion of undoing an undo
>> * Using C-u as a prefix
>> * Searching (and replacing)
>> * The notion of major and minor modes
>> Interestingly, the tutorial does cover all of this; but it also tried to 
>> train me to be efficient at things that I didn't care (like having me jump 
>> around the buffer, paging through things with C-v, etc): what I wanted was a 
>> five minutes introduction which would:
>> * Give me enough to survive in Emacs with more or less the same productivity 
>> as I has in GEdit (which was pretty low)
>> * Teach me a few cool features so that I felt compelled to keep using Emacs
>> Based on this, it would be easy to pick up more stuff along the way.
>> Speaking of cool features, here are a few ones that are very simple to 
>> comprehend, but that I find very useful; I think the tutorial could expose 
>> them:
>> * C-SPC C-SPC to mark a point
>> * C-u C-SPC to jump to a previously marked point
>> * C-w marking the following word during a search
> I see your point.  But here's the problem:
>  * The tutorial explicitly aims at making you more productive than
>    you'd be in GEdit or Notepad, as high productivity is one of
>    Emacs's string selling points
>  * The set of "cool features" that users would like to be taught is
>    highly variable from one user to another, and their superset is way
>    too large for a tutorial
> The only practical solution to the dilemma is to have multiple
> tutorials.  This is not ideal, either, because many newcomers will not
> know enough to choose the ones they want, but it's a step in the right
> direction (IMO).
> The only problem is to find volunteers who'd actually write such
> tutorials.
>> In addition, I think many people get attracted to Emacs for a particular 
>> programming language, so I like the suggestion of the tutorial branching up 
>> into various directions after exposing the basics.
> I actually think that a tutorial should demonstrate the common stuff,
> i.e. how the same commands do different things in each major mode.
> For the details that are specific to each mode users should read the
> respective manuals and doc strings, as describing them in a tutorial
> will make that tutorial be very much like the manual ;-)
>> One final idea: maybe the tutorial could showcase more of Emacs' fancy 
>> features? Like syntax highlighting, spell checking, image support, 
>> indentation, and similar things? Right now it's a plain text buffer in 
>> fundamental mode.
> Excellent ideas, but again: we need someone to step forward and
> actually do all that.  Most of us are not good at writing such
> interactive documentation.

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