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Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly

From: ken
Subject: Re: Making Emacs more newbie friendly
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2005 11:31:46 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.2) Gecko/20040831

PT wrote:

On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 12:47:54 +0200, Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> wrote:

From: PT <address@hidden>
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2005 06:40:54 +0100

> 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.

As a touch-typist, I avoid the arrow keys, as well as the PageUp, PageDown, and all the other keys in that section of the keyboard. And I avoid applications which force me to use them. What I like about emacs is that I don't have to use these keys. They really get in the way of productivity.


By arrow keys I also mean text selection with shift+arrow keys, etc. It is pretty standard in modern systems, so it should be turned on by default.

Same applies here as above. If you like using these kinds of keybindings, why don't you simply use an editor that uses them. It sounds like learning something new is too advanced for you.

I may sound like a heretic, but I don't think a newbie should learn new
keybindings for cursor movement.


It's difficult for me to have any sympathy for someone who doesn't want to spend a half hour learning the basics of a new application. You don't sound at all like a heretic; rather, it sounds like you're just really lazy. Emacs is a great editor (and a lot more). But, yeah, you have to learn a few new things in order to use it. Rather than wasting time and bandwidth whining about how *hard* it is (because it really isn't all that hard), why not just spend some time learning?

I think the most frequent features should be reachable with a single key binding or with a multikey binding which involves at most two keys.

For example, F2 which is a single-key binding controls two column mode if I'm not mistaken while save-buffer which is frequent operation is on C-x C-s. Dees it make sense from a newbie's point of view? Which feature will he use more frequently?

C-o would be nice for opening a file, but C-x C-f? Now that's a bit strange if I'm new to Emacs.

I know these are traditional bindings, but they are strange nevertheless. At least that's what the newbies tell me. ("Emacs? You have to know a lot of long key combinations to use it. Too complicated.")

I'm guessing that there's millions of people using emacs and doing so quite happily. Do you seriously think it's a good idea to change keybindings that millions of people are accustomed to simply because you don't want to spend a half hour to learn them?

Sorry to sound harsh, but your suggestions need to be put in perspective.

A lot of us are working harder than we want, at things we dont like to
do.  Why? ...In order to afford the sort of existence we don't care to
        -- Bradford Angier

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