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Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2005 16:33:37 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

PT <address@hidden> writes:

> The newbies I met usually used a "visual" editor before. Like
> SlickEdit,  Eclipse or Visual Studio.

Strange concept of a "newbie" here.

> Compared to these editors Emacs is very strange the first time. I
> think the default behavior of emacs should be more similar to these
> editors to make the initial transition easier.

Compared to a Kazoo, a violin is very strange the first time.  Yet you
don't see a trend of musicians demanding more Kazoo-like violins to
make the initial transition easier.

Emacs is an inherently complex tool.  This complexity is productive in
the hands of experienced users, and this productivity is what makes
the decision for Emacs, in the long run, a rewarding one.

People that don't want to deal with complexity will remain only
marginally longer with Emacs before abandoning it if Emacs gets dumbed

So the vetoing power should stay with those that have an interest of
keeping Emacs as their working editors for decades.  If we can improve
the first month of a newby without souring the last decade of a
seasoned user, we will by all means do so.  But bending over backwards
for the sake of people that are unlikely to stay with Emacs in the
long run, anyway, is a waste of effort.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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