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Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly

From: Floyd L. Davidson
Subject: Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2005 04:06:33 -0900
User-agent: gnus 5.10.6/XEmacs 21.4.15/Linux 2.6.5

address@hidden (Steinar Børmer) wrote:
>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.

I think too that people who have that sort of mind set will
recognize that characteristic of Emacs very quickly, and realize
they have indeed found the right editor, even though at the time
they make that decision they might be barely functional with it.

On the other hand, making the default some false front that
supposedly provide easy passage from some other editor would
serve little purpose other than to hide the real nature of Emacs
from those who actually will be comfortable with it and become
long term users.

>| 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.

Floyd L. Davidson           <>
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)                         address@hidden

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