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Re: Proposal for an improved `help-for-help'

From: Stefan Kangas
Subject: Re: Proposal for an improved `help-for-help'
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2021 08:27:02 -0700

Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> writes:

>> >> +    '(("Getting Help"
>> >
>> > I'd use something like "Describe and Find Commands, Keys, Functions".
>> That's fine, but it is a bit long.
> Why is it a problem to be long?

Keeping it short is in line with common recommendations in UIX design,
which strongly favours simplicity, in order not to burden the mental
bandwidth of users with irrelevant detail.

Having a long headline here weighs the entire screen down, makes it
harder to read and more intimidating.

> Both "getting Help" and "Basic Help" is too general to be useful, IMO.

Things will be clear from context.  No one risks being confused by
"Basic Help" or "Getting Help".

The main purpose is to give a quick overview of the most commonly used
commands.  "Most Commonly Used Help Commands" is more accurate but too

>> Do we need to speak of "top-level menu", or can we get away with the
>> shorter "Show all installed manuals"?
> But "show a manual" could be interpreted as displaying the contents of
> that manual, in which case "show all manuals" makes no sense.

I don't see how anyone could take "show all manuals" as meaning anything
other than some kind of _list_ of manuals.  How else would they be

And if a user runs the command they will immediately see that they can
indeed also select a manual.  So I think the risk of confusion here is

That said, this is not something I feel is very important.  We can go
with your preference if you feel strongly about it.

> I think I explained elsewhere why I think using "Info" in that screen
> is not the best idea: newbies won't know what that means.

You did explain it, yes, but in a different context.  The argument is
different here as there is a mnemonic involved.  The other drawback I
see is that we miss an opportunity to educate our users in the existence
of Info.

That said, I'm fine with leaving it out, as long as we are conscious of
the considerations involved.

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