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Re: Some developement questions

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Some developement questions
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2018 17:20:27 +0300

> Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2018 02:20:59 +0200
> From: Ergus <address@hidden>
> Cc: Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden>, address@hidden
> A simple config helper specially for newer users. I see for example what
> Spacemacs does the first time I started it; and I thing it is a very
> good approach for the new user. But I don't like the excess of
> layers they added to the configurations after that; because it
> that the configuration experience feels too different and
> complicated.

The fact that distributions like Spacemacs don't quite succeed to
achieve the goals you have in mind might mean that achieving them is
hard or even impossible in practice.  Something to think about, I

> This could be useful not only because it can attract new emacs users
> giving a better initial experience less intimidating (elisp seemed like
> Sanskrit the first time I saw it), but also because the first time a new
> user opens emacs he could get an idea about the potential without
> needing to read a full manual to have line numbers, tutorial, google,
> emacs wiki... Consider that many people come from limited editors, so
> they don't even know that they can make much more with emacs.

The motivation is clear and agreed to; it's the practical
implementation of these ideas that isn't quite clear, to say the
least.  As written earlier in this thread, I envision practical
difficulties on the way towards this goal.  Whether it can be achieved
can only be decided by trying to do it.

> 1) We could have some feedback about which options are most used and which 
> packages are more suitable.

We encourage users to report this stuff to the Emacs issue tracker.

> 2) The default options and changes are not always properly documented or 
> google gives older documentation for them.

They should be generally well documented in the manuals that come with
Emacs and in the built-in doc string (barring bugs that should be
reported as such).  Searching for the documentation on the net will
generally bring less accurate and sometimes misleading results.

> 3) Almost everybody changes some default options like C indentation, add 
> packages, change colors or require some lisp lines which is
> just too much for a user that wants probably to make his first hello world.

FWIW, I don't customize indentation, in any of the languages I edit in
Emacs.  YMMV.

As for colors and fonts: sure, everybody customizes them to some
extent.  But how can you propose non-default customizations for these,
when it's a matter of personal taste, the type and quality of your
monitor, and the fonts installed on your system?  The defaults in this
area try to cater to the majority of users, and I really cannot see
how it would be possible to do better with matters of appearance.  And
if it is possible, we should simply change the defaults.

> This is just my opinion. Sorry for the extension and not knowing how to write 
> code for doing such a thing myself.

Thank you for speaking up, it's IMO important to maintain dialog on
these topics.

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