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Re: Interactive guide for new users

From: Göktuğ Kayaalp
Subject: Re: Interactive guide for new users
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 2020 14:02:29 +0300
User-agent: mu4e 1.2.0; emacs 28.0.50

On 2020-09-12 12:55 +03, Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> wrote:
> What is the definition of "the first time"? where will we keep the
> indication that this is/isn't "the first time"?  Also, will this
> affect "emacs -Q" or "emacs -q"?

Potential solution could be to only show this if Emacs is run without
any command line arguments, and only if the empty file
‘~/.config/emacs-28-interactive-guide-ran’ (or something similar, of
course) exists and no .emacs or init.el exists.  It not being in an
ephemeral location means the user may make sure to keep the file there
so that even if they don’t have a .emacs, they may avoid this thing
popping up every time they run Emacs.  It may be useful to also provide
an environment variable which wen set to t inhibits this without needing

>> SCREEN 2: "Set the color theme", with a clickable list containing the
>> (currently) 16 built-in themes.  A short code snippet above that list
>> illustrates how code is displayed with each of these themes.
> The snippet will only be able to show the buffer text appearance.  For
> other UI elements you will need an image.  Would using an image be
> better here?

This probably wouldn’t work on terminal Emacs.  For a more univarsally
apllicable, you could have a single snippet, and picking a theme just
sets it globally.  A confirm button at bottom saves the preference using
customize and advances.

>> SCREEN 8: Thank you. Your choices have been saved in Emacs' configuration
>> file ~/.emacs.d/init.el (or ~/.emacs ?).
> What do we do here wrt XDG preferences?

Might be a good idea to default to XDG dirs if that’s what Emacs
community wants to encourage.  But because a lot of text out there will
say ~/.emacs or ~/.emacs.d/init.el, the file name should be made very

>> You can use M-x initial-greeting at any time to go through this
>> configuration again.
> That command should be on the Help menu.  And I think the name should
> be 'introduction-to-emacs' or somesuch.

AFAIU it’s customary in the industry these days to call these
walkthrough wizards "Guided Tours".  That might be a more recognisable
name.  ‘initial-greeting’ and ‘introduction-to-emacs’ sound rather
non-interactive to me, i.e. I’d expect to be reading stuff, deducing
from the names.

İ. Göktuğ Kayaalp / @cadadr / <https://www.gkayaalp.com/>
pgp:   024C 30DD 597D 142B 49AC 40EB 465C D949 B101 2427

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