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Re: Some developement questions

From: hw
Subject: Re: Some developement questions
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2018 21:27:06 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.1 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

>> From: hw <address@hidden>
>> Cc: address@hidden,  address@hidden,  address@hidden,  address@hidden
>> Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2018 11:35:58 +0200
>> > I see nothing wrong with that: if you are one of those who can't, just
>> > ignore the part about ergonomic cursor motion keys.
>> Does the tutorial say that when you use cursor keys, you can skip
>> forward to line 322 and start reading there?
> It says "you can use the arrow keys".  Skipping is not a problem, as
> the tutorial has small and clearly marked sections.

I'd break it down into multiple smaller tutorials, even if it is only so
that users can say "Yay, I already finished three of the tutorials!"
rather than "Yeah, I got only to line 234 and it's gona take ages to
learn this.".

Readers should not need to skip.  Imagine you were watching a movie that
said at the beginning "please skip the first 26% percent".  Wouldn't you
ask yourself why the makers of the movie have put these 26% at its
beginning so that everyone needs to skip it?  What's the point of doing

It's like everyone on TV and the on the radio saying "you can look it up
on the internet": Why do they bother to make a TV or radio show when I'm
not supposed to watch or listen but to look it up on the internet?  If I
wanted that, I'd be doing it.

> But I'm not opposed to adding an explicit sentence like that.

That would allow them to feel save about skipping.  Instead of making
everyone skip, there could be information at the beginning people don't
want to skip.

>> The tutorial uses the first 322 lines (26%) to go on and on about these
>> movement keys.  It is supposed to be *the* Emacs tutorial, not a
>> keyboard tutorial.
> They are not general keyboard features, they are _Emacs_ keyboard
> input features.

Moving (the cursor) around is a general feature of every software that
involves cursor movement or even just scrolling.

People can use Emacs just fine without ever knowing that it provides
them with a whole set of key bindings for cursor movement.  How are
these special key bindings so important that they must take up the first
26% of the Emacs tutorial?

If the most important feature of Emacs were its key bindings for cursor
movement, then I might still be using joe.  Joe doesn't work at all
without key bindings, but you can easily move around without any special
ones, and it's a pretty good editor.

>> Do you really think that *the* Emacs tutorial should use its first 300+
>> lines to cover a non-issue?  Isn't there anything much more interesting
>> and far more important to learn about Emacs?
> We don't think this is a non-issue.

It probably is for beginners.  They can already move around, and they
are eager to do that so they can learn about Emacs by doing something
with it, like editing their files.

Please disable your Alt key(s) and try the Emacs way of cursor movement,
key bindings starting with M-C and everything you usually do with Emacs
like that.  Half a day might be enough to show you how efficiently the
movement keys work :)

Even with Alt working, I suggest that there are far more relevant things
beginners need to learn than something they can already do.  For those
who really do not know how to move around at all, there could be a
tutorial about just that which also explains cursor keys.  I would think
that those users are the most likely ones to pick up the Emacs way of
movement; everyone else will probably continue with cursor keys.

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