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

From: Ergus
Subject: Re: Interactive guide for new users (was: Re: Gather a list of confusions beginner tend to have)
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2020 21:48:52 +0200

On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 09:43:09PM +0300, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2020 16:00:41 +0000
From: Gregory Heytings <ghe@sdf.org>
cc: casouri@gmail.com, emacs-devel@gnu.org

> How would they even understand the doc strings without knowing what's a
> buffer and what's a window?  We have the Glossary section in the manual,
> for that very reason.

Again my point of view is: what are the most essential things that a user
needs to know to use Emacs if we have no more than three minutes?  The
point is to create a minimal configuration wizard / guided tour to
introduce them to the most essential things and help them to create a
minimal configuration with which they would feel "at home", instead of
having the "this is weird" feeling.

That is a very different goal from that of our tutorial (or any good
tutorial, IMO).  A tutorial should present the important workings of
the tool it describes, which includes all the basic operations and

A user who has no more than 3 minutes can just start typing and use
the menus for the rest.  I believe Emacs supports all the features
such a user can expect: cursor motion with arrows and PageUp/PageDown,
text insertion and deletion, saving via the menus, etc.

But if you think such "3-minute users" need a document to get them
started, by all means, write such a document.  It is not what the
tutorial attempts to do, though.

Lets say that the problem is the unfamiliar way how emacs work in some
aspects. In this list is repeated constantly that we shouldn't do this
or that; or use a such set of bindings, colors, or methods just because
the other editors do. So the only way to keep that is enforcing a
learning curve because very little users will arrive trained in "the
emacs way".

If a user opens any editor around he never looks into the menus for copy
or paste, but just right-click and a panel or C-c and C-v as they are
standard anywhere else.

I don't like to enable CUA mode by default, but start emacs and work is
not so easy so if a user only have 3 minutes to start he will open
gedit, kwire, kate or geany and everything works as expected in those 3

You mention "doc strings", but why on earth would a user who just started
using Emacs read doc strings?

To learn more about Emacs, of course.

I said that, 5-10 minutes is a bit better than 3. IMO the Mike's videos
are the perfect format. Maybe the only problem is the emacs window size
on the screen and that they are more oriented to the external packages
than in the internals.

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