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Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly

From: Pascal Bourguignon
Subject: Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly
Date: 19 Mar 2005 16:45:30 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3

PT <address@hidden> writes:

> On 18 Mar 2005 22:57:17 +0100, Pascal Bourguignon
> <address@hidden>  wrote:
> > PT <address@hidden> writes:
> >
> >> I'm sure I'm not the first to come up with this idea, but I think it
> >> really would help if emacs had a newbie-mode which made it easier for
> >> newbies to get acquainted with it.
> >
> > C-h t
> That's exactly what I meant. The key bindings shown in the tutorial
> are  leftovers from a world when there were no arrow keys on keyboards.
> I have some colleagues using VIM and Emacs and none of them use the
> standard keys for movement, all of them use the arrow keys. 

Arrow keys are not standard.  There are keyboard without arrow keys.
There are keyboards where the arrow keys are too small.  There are
keyboards where the arrow keys are far from the home row.

The users of emacs keep using C-f instead of -> because C-f is right
under the fingers while -> requires arm movement and back.  Same for
most other keys you call "standard".

> I've been using emacs for 6+ years, customized it inside out, wrote
> minor modes for  it and yet I too use the arrow keys, not M-f and
> M-b and such.
> I may sound like a heretic, but I don't think a newbie should learn
> new  keybindings for cursor movement.

1- Probably, the theory of emacs key binding should be put in the tutorial.

2- Since you can customize emacs, why don't you write the 
   ms-window-newbie-user-minor-mode yourself?  And while you're at it,
   write a macintosh-newbie-user-minor-mode and 
   an amiga-newbie-user-minor-mode and etc... On these systems, the
   "standard" keys are not what you think!

> > M-x viper RET
> VI is not a more usual editor. KEdit is. Notepad is.

No.  MS-Word is the usual editor.

> > Better put:
> >
> > alias newbie-emacs=nano # or pico
> >
> > in your ~/.bashrc
> Sigh. When some people sees how I work with Emacs they want to learn
> it.  The idea is to relieve the initial pain of meeting Emacs the
> first time,  so that they don't give it up in disgust, before they get
> to know it  better.

I meant that the best way to leave the newbie state is to start
learning and using the new tool instead of trying to bind it to make
it look like the old tool.

Now, here is an idea:

   I learned the emacs keybinding using on NeXTSTEP!
   (long before I started to use emacs).

Perhaps what you should do/ask is a NotePad.exe accepting the default
emacs key bindings.

__Pascal Bourguignon__           
Grace personified,
I leap into the window.
I meant to do that.

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