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Re: usability problem of emacs describe-mode

From: Xah Lee
Subject: Re: usability problem of emacs describe-mode
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 13:48:51 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Feb 23, 11:14 am, Zachary Kline <address@hidden> wrote:
> Hello,
> I think the issue here is one of personal preference.
> I for one find the mode help not only useful but essential in many instances, 
> being new to the editor.

Sure i find the describe-mode command useful too. Though, i'm
describing its usability problems, not contending it is not useful.

> As for technical terminology, it is something that one will eventually pick 
> up with time.

Yes. But the issue about usability problem. If there is a usability
problem, you can't say it can't be picked up eventually. For example,
say there's a software with good doc and software B has bad doc. One
could say user will eventually understand the bad doc too.

I don't see your point.

For example, one of the point i mentioned is that weird terminology
adds to the readability problem, in conjunction with many other
issues. You say that user will pickup terminology eventually. Sure,
but how's that effect the criticism? If, for example, term A and B
both can be used, while A is easier to understand, and B is hard.
Then, i said emacs should adopt A. But, you say “As for technical
terminology, it is something that one will eventually pick up with
time.” How's that address the issue?

Perhaps, you are just saying that you don't see the emacs
terminologies as hard to understand or unintuitive as i implied? If
so, please do give reasons.

> I should also mention that the contents of that buffer depend, in large part, 
> on which mode you're currently in.

Of course. That's what major mode for. As to minor mode, it depends on
the minor mode. I'm not sure what is your point?

> All this being said, I'm conservative and don't feel a need to change 
> something that works in my case.

vi also works.

I'm also conservative.

Is there a exact point, about my criticism or suggestion, that you
disagree with? and the reason? Do you think, that there are some
particular point i pointed out, are incorrect? Or, do you think they
are misleading? Or, perhaps you think there are other aspects or
perspective that i didn't consider so makes my criticism not a good

If so, you'll have to give reasons exactly.

Thanks for your feedback.


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