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

From: Daniel Fleischer
Subject: Re: [External] : Re: [PATCH] Package Installation in Tutorial
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2021 23:19:07 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/29.0.50 (darwin)

Great points, let me comment on a few of them.

> How do you propose to know what is most useful
> to them?

That's easy: because I was a beginner and I struggled with some of these
things and because I use other editors as well and try to see what is
offered elsewhere to try and understand what people tend to expect
nowadays, as part of my drive to try and increase the Emacs community by
having more people try it and having it easier for beginners.

> Why also package management?  That's my question.
> Why is that something needed for _starting_ to
> use Emacs?  By "package management" I guess you
> mean installing and deleting packages?  Why is
> that something you need to learn at the outset?

That's the crux: in my experience, installing a package is the FIRST
thing I do. I used to work with Sublime text, Atom, VS Code. The first thing I
did was to install a package for the type of file I worked on, whether
it was JSON, Latex, Python. VSCode even has a popup when you open a file
asking you to download the appropriate package. I gave JSON as an
example because there is no built-in "support" but it can be easily

People expect the editor to be lean and to install packages for the type
of files they work on - it's part of what they call to setup the
environment. Emacs is different, it's opposite of lean. But even then,
there are many things Emacs doesn't have built-in. People will open
Clojure, Rust, GO files or what have you and stare and ask what do I do
now. Downloading "clojure-mode" or "rust-mode" or "go-mode" is one
command away, and that's what I want to people to see in the tutorial.

To reiterate, I believe the first thing a user does with a new editor is
have it ready to work with some file-type of interest which the editor
might not support built-in, and this is even before configuring anything
general in the editor. Starting to configure the editor requires some
commitment, which was not earned yet.

> I'm again asking what _you_ look to, as evidence
> that installing & deleting packages is something
> that first-timers really need, as part of our
> learn-by-doing tutorial.

I feel like that's not fair. In the short time I've been here I was able
to see features being implemented which were NOT backed up by any
external data or polls (discussions here are not included). Moreover,
some updates were motivated by individual bug reports which is a sample
of one. Also what's the downside here? having the tutorial too long?

If you're asking if it's a low hanging fruit, compared to teaching users
about customization, then it is. I don't see anything wrong with it. 


Daniel Fleischer

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