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Re: A new user perspective about "Changes for emacs 28"

From: Arthur Miller
Subject: Re: A new user perspective about "Changes for emacs 28"
Date: Wed, 09 Sep 2020 15:17:20 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

> On Wed, Sep 09, 2020 at 07:03:09AM +0200, Arthur Miller wrote:
>>Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> writes:
>>>> Cc: nicola.manca85@gmail.com, spacibba@aol.com, drew.adams@oracle.com,
>>>>  emacs-devel@gnu.org
>>>> From: Dmitry Gutov <dgutov@yandex.ru>
>>>> Date: Tue, 8 Sep 2020 18:02:10 +0300
>>>> On 08.09.2020 17:20, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
>>>> > Once more complex
>>>> > situation arise, my opinion is that undo-tree is more complex and
>>>> > harder to grasp than the Emacs undo, so I don't think undo-tree is
>>>> > better suited to newbies than the default undo.
>>>> I'm pretty sure undo-tree is better for complex situations thanks to of
>>>> its visualization interface.
>>> If visualization is the main advantage, we could have visualization
>>> for the default undo as well.  That's not the complex part, and not
>>> what differentiates between the 2 undo's.
>>I would like to connect this discussion back to some earlier discussions
>>about how to make Emacs more popular, and this recent what changes
>>people want to see.
>>As I see almost everyone agrees that Emacs has best undo-redo mechanism
>>that is out there, right?  I tend to agree with this. I think you should
>>"market" this much better then you do. First and foremost, I think you
>>should give it a bit more advanced term, something like:
>>"non-destructive text editing", rather then undo-redo. The new term
>>should not be a replacement but a completition to old undo-redo term.
>>Why such term?
>>1. It describes better how Emacs undo-redo works and also distincts
>>Emacs from other software which has simpler undo-redo facilitie.
>>2. It gives you opportunity to market a unique and distinctive Emacs
>>feature that actually gives more value to the user.
>>A popular photo-editing tool by a big software house is very proud to
>>market their non-destructive photo-editing tools and people are writing
>>blog posts and book chapters to point out the benefits and how to work
>>with it. Emacs should not be different in this regard.
>>Next, implement undo-tree visualisation (graph) as Eli suggests. No idea
>>if you can just adapt undo-tree code or have to write new. Personally I
>>don't use undo-tree nor have it installed longer; but I do think the
>>idea is very cool. Also, regardless if I personally see it just as a
>>gimmick, I think it is a distinctive feature of Emacs to have a
>>graphical and interactive visualisation of undo-redo history; I don't
>>know of any other text editor with such capability. It would be nice if
>>it used unicode characters to create more graph-like chart instead of
>>ascii chars.
>>I think the Emacs undo-redo and it's visualisation, can be one of so
>>called "selling points" when it comes to Emacs (one of many of course).
>>Another feature I would like to see is if it would be possible to
>>"freeze" (remove) undo-history in order to save memory. This operation
>>would remove old-undo information, like if the document was just
>>I would never thought that undo-redo in a piece of software can be such
>>a passionate discussion subject, but yet here we are ... :-)
Ergus <spacibba@aol.com> writes:

> Hi Arthur:
> The non technical part of the "popularity" problem is
> 1) the lack of interaction of core emacs developers with the communities
> outside (github independent package developers, reddit, telegram groups)
> It happens to me once that I knew about an error in a feature I
> implemented because someone talk about it in a Telegram group about
> emacs in Spanish. They didn't report the issue because they didn't know
> how to do so (they were looking on github/issues as usual) but also
> because they didn't know enough english.
I agree that language and knowledge (being informed about Emacs)
barriers can be part of reasons why Emacs is not more popular.
I am guilty of it myself. Numerous times I didn't know Emacs can do
something I wished it could, because I didn't invest enough time in
RTFM. Part of reason is also that I have almost all gui features turned
off and I am probably not exploring it enough myself.

But that is problem to me as a person not the Emacs. How good language
translations are and if there exist depends on the community not the
core developers. Developers on their own can't ensure that Emacs and
manual are translated in all possible languages and locales, they can
only ensure infrastructure to make translations possible and leave it to
the community to realize those translations.

It would be, though, unrealistic to expect ccore developers to take part
in social media discussions just to "market" Emacs. Also I know that some
does that at least on Reddit in Emacs group. 

> 2) "Publicity" I mean, we "haven't invested" / "don't know how" to sale
> better what we have. It is like having a shop with amazing products no
> advertisements, dark entrance but even if a client gets in; most of the
> products are not exhibited but he has to ask for them sometimes in a
> special code.
Yes, you are definitely correct about Emacs not marketing some of it
awesomnes enough! :-)

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