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Re: basic question: going back to dired

From: Juanma Barranquero
Subject: Re: basic question: going back to dired
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2008 13:11:18 +0200

On Wed, Jul 23, 2008 at 12:25, Tim X <address@hidden> wrote:

> so what? I'm not trying to be argumentative, but what does it really
> matter if new users have a bit of a learning curve?

You talk about "a bit of a learning curve". I worry about the people
who simply leaves Emacs behind. I know people who are happy users of
Emacs, who do know almost nothing of it and would not even have used
it, had not I customized the font-lock colors to their liking.

> Why should emacs
> appear to be just like any other text editor?

There's a difference between "appearing to be just like any other text
editor" and "using common terms for common things". Emacs certainly is
not the only one to use windows, but it is the only one calling them
"frames", AFAIK.

> While probably sounding
> provocative, how many new uses who are not prepared to learn emacs
> terminology are actually going to contribute anything? If they don't
> contribute anything, what does it matter if there is only 1 a year or
> 100 a week?

In my view, the goal of free software is giving the users freedom, not
blackmailing them into contributing. Emacs has a Windows port because
it has been deemed useful to the free software cause, even if only a
tiny fraction of them will ever contribute.

> Taking things in another direction, could it not be that as emacs is
> significantly different in approach, functionality and extensibility
> than nearly all other editors, might not a different terminology
> actually help new uses grasp that this is not just another editor?

Even if it is so significantly different, common things are common
things. It would be silly to call files with another name just to make
the point that Emacs is different, for example.

> There could be an argument that making users learn from scratch and with
> different terminology will help because it makes them adopt a new
> mindset and stops them from comparing it to what they already know?

I think there are people who prefer to learn from scratch, and others
who really do it better if they have something to base on.


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