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RE: [External] : Re: [PATCH] Package Installation in Tutorial

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: [External] : Re: [PATCH] Package Installation in Tutorial
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2021 16:29:00 +0000

> being able to install packages and extend
> Emacs is a main feature and should be
> introduced to new users early on.

Is using the Customize UI in the tutorial?
Is making simple customizations with Lisp
in the tutorial?  Is use of `custom-file'
in the tutorial?  Is use of the `Options'
menu in the tutorial?

Such simple customization is something to
introduce at least as early as installing
and deleting additional packages, no? 

Is `load-path', `require', or `load-library'
introduced in the tutorial?

The stated raison d'etre for this change was
merely that "_some people are not aware_ of
the package management features of Emacs".

How many nowadays _are_ aware of that "main
feature" but are unaware of how to find and
change a face or option value?  How many are
unaware of how to _ask Emacs_, to find out
for themselves about such things?

The whole discussion (by 3 people) of this
change  has been only about _where_ to add
this topic - nothing about why to do so,
or what other changes might be just as
important or more so.

Has it been shown that new users _are_ in
general unaware of packages or unable to
install them?  Aside from questions about
an early init file or `use-package' syntax
etc., how many new users just ask "How do
I install a package?"  I don't see that
come up, myself, on Reddit, StackExchange,
help-gnu-emacs, etc., and I come across
dozens (hundreds?), of new-user questions
every day.

A good indication of such a need might be
the number of existing blogs, videos, etc.
telling users how to install and delete a
package - and how much they're used.  Do
we have an impression (or tally) of this?
Is there a crying lack of such help?

I don't say we shouldn't document this
"main feature".  But there might be other
things that are at least as useful to
introduce in the basic tutorial.

(A tutorial can also just make users aware
of feature XYZ and point to its doc, if
step-by-step "learning by doing" isn't so
urgent or important for that feature.)

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