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Re: [OT] Reading Emacs Tutorials

From: Giorgos Keramidas
Subject: Re: [OT] Reading Emacs Tutorials
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 17:32:24 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.91 (berkeley-unix)

On Sat, 14 Mar 2009 12:18:59 +0900, Byung-Hee HWANG <address@hidden> wrote:
> Because naturally i'm not patient, i cannot read the tutorials for
> long time on anchor to chair. Is there somebody like me? If so, how do
> you become to the power user on Emacs? Without reading Emacs tutorials
> or Emacs howto.
> Nevetheless, i cannot give up Emacs study. Really i like Emacs for
> now. Can you please help me about that? Without fall behind, i wish to
> stand up line of power users after about 3 months. Please comments!

I just took my own pace and rhythm.  Emacs is a huge program, so it is
pretty normal to feel overwhelmed by its size and complexity.  I think
it is safe to assume that nobody can learn _everything_ about Emacs in
less than 3 months, but do not let this deter you from trying to use
Emacs and learn more about it.

You can start with small editing tasks, i.e. by setting Emacs as your
editor for email messages.  I initially had my Emacs configured as the
editor for mutt(1).  Starting a new Emacs instance for every email
message seemed a bit slowish, but it also provided me with a safe-belt:
when I did something stupid inside Emacs, I could save the message or
kill the buffer, and restart the email editor.  This way I wouldn't feel
afraid to try new things and commands.

Using Emacs for editing my email messages was a pretty big step, because
I usually post 10-50 new messages every day and I spend a fair amount of
time inside my mail reader.  But `forcing' myself to use Emacs for this
sort of work made me realize that I needed to learn more things about
the editor, to become more effective in my email editing tasks.  So I

Every time I learned of a new Emacs trick, I tried to apply it to my
everyday email editing sessions.  I didn't read the _entire_ Emacs
tutorial in one day.  I didn't read the entire manual in one day either.
But I did read parts of the tutorial and the manual very often.  I spent
small chunks of time, and let them accumulate over time to what must be
now several hundred of hours of manual reading.

The important thing to realize is that you don't have to read the
*entire* manual in one go.  Learn how to look things up in the index of
the manual, become acquainted with `info-mode' and how to navigate the
manual by using keys you are familiar with, and let experience build up
over time.


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