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Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly

From: Joe Corneli
Subject: Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2005 09:58:39 -0600

   "Eli Zaretskii" <address@hidden> writes:

   > > From: Pascal Bourguignon <address@hidden>
   > > Date: 20 Mar 2005 00:33:18 +0100
   > > 
   > > "Eli Zaretskii" <address@hidden> writes:
   > > 
   > > > > From: Pascal Bourguignon <address@hidden>
   > > > > Date: 19 Mar 2005 16:45:30 +0100
   > > > > 
   > > > > 1- Probably, the theory of emacs key binding should be put in
   > > > > the tutorial.
   > > > 
   > > > Please take another look at the tutorial--such an explanation is
   > > > already there.
   > > 
   > > I mean, how to customize the key binding.
   > Then why did you write ``the theory of emacs key binding''?  What's
   > the ``theory'' thing about?

   It's about giving some sense of Grandeur about it.  
   Rhetorics if you wll.

I agree - specifically, the Rhetoric of Extensibility.

Thus, in addition to being able to press M-f, M-b, I also have

(global-set-key [(meta right)] 'forward-word)
(global-set-key [(meta left)] 'backward-word)

and 274 other globally redefined keybindings.  And a fairly
non-standard keyboard layout in which all the modifiers are actually
within easy reach.  Which, BTW, I began work on within my first three
months of learning how to use Emacs and have been very happy with ever
since it was completed.  However, all traces of how I actually
embarked on this happy adventure are lost.  I know it had to do with
wanting to learn how to insert latex symbols quickly and also save my

Key binding does need some Theory - and regardless of whether this
topic is mentioned in the tutorial, it seems that all of the syntaxes
could be explained in more detail the info pages.

As a thought for how to actually make Emacs easier for new users to
use, what do you think about the idea of having a Tutorial subsystem,
like the Info subsystem?  Would it help people to learn more things in
a guided learn-by-doing fashion?

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