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Re: Proposal for an improved `help-for-help'

From: Howard Melman
Subject: Re: Proposal for an improved `help-for-help'
Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2021 13:56:41 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.2 (darwin)

Stefan Kangas <stefan@marxist.se> writes:

> Stefan Kangas <stefan@marxist.se> writes:

I had missed this and it looks great.  I have a few small comments.

> Getting Help
>    m  Help for current minor and major modes and their commands

Why not "Show help for" like the others?  Also I'd say
"major and minor" since it shows the major mode first.

>    b  Show all key bindings
>    k  Show help for key
>    c  Show help for key briefly
>    w  Show which key runs a given command
>    a  Search for commands (see also M-x apropos)
>    d  Search documentation of functions, variables, and other items

In other places you use the word "help" instead of
"documentation".  I agree "Search documentation" reads
better than "Search help" but by using a different word it
suggests to me that it searches differen text than what is
shown by other help commands.  Maybe "Seach help text" would
be better?

>    f          Show help for function
>    o  Show help for function or variable

I would move this one either above f or below v.  It seem
odd to me be to placed between them.  

>    v  Show help for variable
> Info Manuals
>    r  Show Emacs manual
>    F  Show Emacs manual section for command
>    K  Show Emacs manual section for command bound to key
>    i          Show all included manuals

I feel like the word info should be here, as that's the
mnemonic (not "included").

>    R  Show given manual

Is this a new function in Emacs 28?  I don't see it in Emacs
27.  For w above you say "a given command" maybe these two
should match?

>    S  Find symbol in Info manual for current programming language

With the construction used above for F and K this would
read: "Show current programming language manual section for
symbol"  If that's too long, perhaps those commands should
use this construction with "Find..."

> Misc Help
>    p  Search for packages matching topic
>    P  Describe Emacs Lisp package
>    e  Show recent messages

I'd like to see word the "echo" in here as the mnemonic. Perhaps
"Show recent messages from the echo area" or "Show recently
echoed messages"

>    g  Show information about the GNU project
>    l          Show last 300 input keystrokes (lossage)
>    s  Show current syntax table
>    .          Show local help at point
>    t          Start the Emacs tutorial

I understand that the tuturial is probably the least used
command here, but I'll make the case that for a new user,
the ones most likely to use C-h C-h, it's perhaps the most
important one.  I'd put it first in this section.

> Help Files
>    C-a        About Emacs
>    C-c        Emacs copying permission (GNU General Public License)
>    C-d        Debugging GNU Emacs

The "GNU" seems unnecessary here, particularly compared to
the other lines.

>    C-e        External packages
>    C-f        Emacs FAQ
>    C-m        Order printed Emacs manuals
>    C-n        News of recent Emacs changes
>    C-o        Emacs ordering and distribution information
>    C-p        Known Emacs problems
>    C-t        Emacs TODO
>    C-w        Information on absence of warranty for GNU Emacs
> Language Help
>    C  Describe coding system
>    I          Describe input method
>    L  Describe language environment
>    h  Display the HELLO file illustrating various scripts



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