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Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly

From: Lee Sau Dan
Subject: Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly
Date: 20 Mar 2005 00:04:32 +0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3

>>>>> "David" == David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:

    >>  Four fundamental issues would be: [1] Possibility for
    >> horizontal scroll,

    David> C-x < and C-x >

Or C-PageUp and C-PageDown

    >> [2] sizeable and cascadable windows instead of buffers inside
    >> the same frame,

    David> Windows _are_ sizable, and what is displayed _is_ a window,
    David> not a buffer (you can have buffers that are not displayed,
    David> or buffers displyed in several windows at once).  Drag an
    David> unused spot of any modeline in a split frame (C-x 2) up and
    David> down or use C-x ^ to enlarge.  If you split windows
    David> vertically (with C-x 3), drag the point in the mode line
    David> under the scrollbar left and right.

I like Emacs the way it  is: windows dividing the frame into different
areas.  I hate overlapping windows or tabs because they make reading 2
buffers  (or two  different  parts of  the  same buffer)  side-by-side
difficult.  'Windows' in Emacs  is appropriate for that.  Please don't
change that.  If you want multiple frames, then C-x 5 2 yourself.

    >> [3] heavy extension of the icon toolbars and 

I don't care.  I have (tool-bar-mode -1) in my .emacs anyway.

    >> [4] distinction between 'open' and 'new' file.

    David> The problems with "new" (basically nameless buffers) are:

    David> a) There is no associated mode.  Emacs' most important
    David> property is that it has editing modes and syntax
    David> highlighting and keybindings for most tasks readily
    David> available.  It will almost always be easier to specify a
    David> file name to work with than the name of an Emacs mode.

    David> b) There is no associated file name.  When exiting and
    David> saving automatically (like the desktop package does), Emacs
    David> has no place to put the file.

    David> c) There is no associated autosave file.  If you crash
    David> after two hours of work, your work will get lost.

    David> d) Lots of modes offer running/compiling/testing your
    David> program using external tools that need accessible files.

    David> In short: I don't see how Emacs can benefit from that
    David> distinction.

But Emacs  does provide a  way for you  to do that effectively:  C-x b
*untitled1* RET.  (Or  C-x 4 b ..., which is what  I usually do.)  The
result is a new windows in fundamental-mode and no associated filename
(C-x C-s would prompt  you to enter a file name).  I  often do that to
create extra *scratch* buffers to  hold temp. data -- electronic rough
work sheets.

Lee Sau Dan                     李守敦                          address@hidden

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