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Re: Gather a list of confusions beginner tend to have

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Gather a list of confusions beginner tend to have
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2020 09:45:36 +0300

> From: Yuan Fu <casouri@gmail.com>
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2020 19:20:34 -0400
> Cc: Göktuğ Kayaalp <self@gkayaalp.com>,
>  emacs-devel <emacs-devel@gnu.org>
> > I don't think this scales.  Emacs has thousands of options, I'm
> > guessing hundreds of them are important for the audience you have in
> > mind.  You will get a huge set of many options that people with
> > "TL;DR" state of mind will never be able to review, let alone decide
> > what is for them.
> I think there are a few configurations that a beginner would want to change 
> right after he starts Emacs, usually very basic settings. If you think it’s a 
> good idea, I can go to reddit and ask what people missed when then started 
> using Emacs for the first few minutes. 

I think it could be a good idea to ask users, yes.  However, "for the
first few minutes" is not a good criterion, IMO: we want to provide a
facility for easily finding important options for users who already
use Emacs for weeks, maybe months.  The options "for the first few
minutes" are supposed to be on the Options menu already.

> > The grouping of the options must be based on some "themes" or similar,
> > to be useful.  The challenge is, of course, to come up with a useful
> > list of such "themes", and then decide which options should each theme
> > enable.
> Others has described the out-of-the-box experience of doom Emacs, it seems to 
> me that such job is better done by a “distribution” of Emacs than by vanilla 
> Emacs.

"Better" in what sense?  What do the people who maintain Spacemacs or
DOOM know about Emacs that we don't?

> OTHO, vanilla Emacs could add a tiny guide like I proposed to more or less 
> improve the life for those who started Emacs without reading any tutorial on 
> the internet.

Sorry to be negative, but based on experience I have hard time
believing in such guides: people who are involved in Emacs development
are much better coding than writing good documentation, let alone
tutorial documentation for newbies.  Let's do what we do best: produce
features that make it easier to discover and turn on popular features.

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