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Re: Interactive guide for new users (was: Re: Gather a list of confusion

From: Gregory Heytings
Subject: Re: Interactive guide for new users (was: Re: Gather a list of confusions beginner tend to have)
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2020 08:15:12 +0000
User-agent: Alpine 2.22 (NEB 394 2020-01-19)

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.

FWIW, here is a demo of the guide: https://youtu.be/0qMskTAR2aw

The demo inserts some configurations into ~/.emacs.d/init.el after completion.

Such a beginners guide (wizard) is an excellent idea. And it is great that you actually have code. Let's see what others think, but I will optimistically add my comments below.

It's great indeed, and not very far from what I had in mind.

In screen 1, it would be great (but I don't know if it is possible) to allow the user to select a font (among a short set).

In screen 2, I would add evil-mode in the options. I would add the "C-o = find-file" binding to "cua-mode". I don't think "s (super)" is useful. And I would not write "We encourage you to learn the default binding, because...", but "We encourage you to reconsider this choice after some time, because...".

In screen 3, I would add hl-line, show-paren-mode, which-key, column-number-mode, save-place-mode + desktop-save-mode (both with a single choice). I would also add an option to have "(setq uniquify-buffer-name-style 'forward) (setq uniquify-min-dir-content 1024)". And an option to bind C-x C-b (and another shorter but less useful binding, say C-b) to ibuffer.

I would move screen 4 after screen 2.

And I still think that a short "guided tour" would be useful at the end: what/where is the minibuffer and what is its purpose, what does the mode-line contain, how to find help (here I would list C-h m, C-h p, C-h k / C-h w / C-h a, C-h l, C-h ?), ...
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