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Re: Workshop to save M$ Windows users - help needed

From: Eduardo Ochs
Subject: Re: Workshop to save M$ Windows users - help needed
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2021 04:59:57 -0300

On Sun, 3 Oct 2021 at 02:48, Jean Louis <> wrote:
> (...)

Hi Jean-Louis,

my experience is that people here don't mind spending weeks or months
trying to learn how to use some program _IF_ "everybody" - for some
value of "everybody" - keeps repeating that that program is incredibly
important and useful, and that is it "easy" and that "there are lots
of tutorials about it on the internet"...

The text that I wrote explaining my workshop is hard to translate to
English, so let me just retell in English what some parts of it say.

I start the text by describing a situation that practically everybody
has been through: we see that one of our friends has included some
amazing graphics in one of his assignments, and we ask how we can
learn how to do graphics like that ourselves. He answers something
like: "I used Python and MatPlotLib! They are super easy to learn!
There are lots of tutorials on the internet!" - and then we spend the
next weekend at home trying to learn Python and MatPlotLib from the
tutorials that we found on the internet, but we progress very little.
We ask more people for more hints and help, and the answers are always
in that same form: "use the programs/libraries such and such", "it's
easy", "there are tutorials on the internet"...

Then I explain that there are parts of the Free Software World in
which people have other ways to help one another, and in which if you
ask "how do I do such and such?" very often people will answer with
snippets that do something closely related to what you want, and they
will say "does this help?" - and by reading and understanding those
snippets you will learn a lot, and very often you will be able to
modify them to get code that does what you want.

My main intention with that workshop will be to introduce people to
that world - in which people share short programs instead of just
sharing names of programs and libraries and saying "it's easy".

I also explained in the text that usually we go to workshops expecting
to learn something "useful", but we don't notice that we have a
certain rigid notion of "usefulness" that we never thought much about
it. Probably what is going to happen in this workshop is that people
will start to understand other notions of "usefulness", and for
programmers often something is "useful" when it is a building block
can be used in many ways. And my criteria for choosing what to present
on this workshop will be not "usefulness" but "elegance" and "fun" - I
will present some things that are easy to understand but that have
deep ideas inside, and that _some_ of my programmer friends consider
that are "elegant" and "fun".

You said:

  - if you advertise channel or anything through Telegram
    it is vendor lock network, promoting the network, not
    your own service or organization. If anything happens
    to Telegram, you will lose connections. It is
    centralized system.

The plan is to use Telegram - that many of the students already know
how to use - to start, and then switch to rcirc... suppose that this
means that we will use Telegram for 1h30, and then abandon it. Does
that really look very bad to you?

You said:

  Ask yourself "why"? Do they really need a terminal or
  Bash? I don't think so.

  If you teach Emacs, use TUTORIAL as your starting point,
  but even more fundamental is knowing how to use keys on
  the keyboard. Majority of people will get stuck with
  proper usage of special keys.

  1. Talk about proper usage of keyboard and special keys;

  2. Going through Emacs Tutorial;

  3. Use Emacs Lisp introduction and go through it;

"Emacs" and "Unix" have several meanings - to me -, and I am
interested in the meaning in which they are "anti-black-boxes"
and are environments that encourage people to help one another
by sharing snippets of code.

    Eduardo Ochs

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