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Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly

From: Steinar Børmer
Subject: Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2005 12:49:27 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.110003 (No Gnus v0.3) Emacs/22.0.50 (berkeley-unix)

David Kastrup wrote:

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

I think you're right.  The willingness to learn a complicated tool, and
the knowledge of the benefits to be had, are what determines the outcome
in the end, not how similar the key bindings are to $PREVIOUS_EDITOR.

| 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.

XEmacs has a newbie-friendly startup help system, where it cycles
through a couple of concise, helpful tips pages upon startup.  GNU Emacs
has this too, but it's shorter and covers fewer of the commands that are
likely to be sought by new users.
Especially helpful to completely clueless users is the page where XEmacs

        _Useful stuff_ :

        Things that you should learn rather quickly...

        C-x C-f: visit a file
        C-x C-s: save changes
        C-u: undo changes
        C-x C-c: exit XEmacs

Above this is a line saying:

        `C-' means the control key, `M-' means the meta key

I suggest adding something similiar to GNU Emacs.


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