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

From: Yuan Fu
Subject: Re: Interactive guide for new users (was: Re: Gather a list of confusions beginner tend to have)
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2020 10:04:36 -0400

> On Sep 11, 2020, at 4:15 AM, Gregory Heytings <ghe@sdf.org> wrote:
>>> 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 ?), …

I agree, the current tutorial is a bit verbose (not that I didn’t read it when 
I started using Emacs, but…). A shorter tutorial introducing the most important 
bindings and operations would be helpful (I imagine).


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