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Re: Changes for emacs 28

From: Ricardo Wurmus
Subject: Re: Changes for emacs 28
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2020 06:52:05 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 1.4.13; emacs 27.1

Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> writes:

> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
>   > At that point their initial enthusiasm has all but disappeared and they
>   > glance over to their colleagues who use Rstudio or Atom (in 2017) or
>   > that proprietary editor Sublime.  Everything seems so easy and
>   > approachable and just as extensible.  They see their colleague use Git
>   > from within Rstudio and wonder if they’d ever get to that point if they
>   > will first have to configure Emacs to do all the basic things first.
> The tone of that text seems harsh -- it feels like venting hostility.
> Would you like to make some constructive suggestions?

This is certainly not meant to come across as harsh.  It is a
description of what I have observed dozens of times while watching
people who had initial enthusiasm to try out Emacs, only to realize that
it requires much more time to get started than they imagined.  At that
point they have mentally moved on and are already on the lookout for
something else that gets them close to what they had been looking for
initially — even if that falls short of what they could have reached
with Emacs.

I agree with what others have pointed out earlier, namely that a lack of
pre-configuration of features such as automatic completion as you type
and more helpful matching and suggestion of inputs at dreaded empty
prompts would go a long way to reduce what is seen as an intimidating
amount of configuration that users would have to perform for features
that are readily available in most editors and IDEs (and of course
Emacs, once configured).

This drop in initial enthusiasm and motivation is real and closely
linked to defaults.  It is also why I shifted to recommend Spacemacs
(for people familiar with Vim) or Doom Emacs (for all others), because
people can dive right into the interesting stuff without getting bogged
down at the worst time: while learning something that is completely
foreign to them.


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