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Re: Making Emacs more friendly to newcomers

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Making Emacs more friendly to newcomers
Date: Wed, 06 May 2020 22:48:02 -0400

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  > Customize:
  > This feature is conceptually simple but I found it almost hostile to
  > interact with. Between, states and unintuitive input fields. I found it
  > hard to understand what many functions and variables were meant to do or
  > represent. The documentation for these values showed elisp, so I quickly
  > transitioned away from customize. I don't know what I would improve here
  > but I think that many new users are guided to this feature and I don't
  > recommend them to play with it from personal experiences.

I agree that it has big problems.

New users could tell us some aspects they notice as difficult.  I
don't think we can expect them to tell us what would make it better
for them -- not in general.

All I can suggest is for someone to try implementing a nicer interface
and invite some new users to try it, saying which aspects they find
less than ideal.  Then repeat.

Perhaps we should have separate customize code for graphical
displays.  I expect most new users use those.  If it doesn't have
to share code with the tty interface, it could be improved more.

Dr Richard Stallman
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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