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Re: DEL key doesn't kill mouse-dragged region

From: Luc Teirlinck
Subject: Re: DEL key doesn't kill mouse-dragged region
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 23:55:08 -0600 (CST)

Eli Zaretskii wrote:

   Care to share the details (what problems newbies are supposed to
   have, but don't)?

I do not want to seem to reopen recent discussions, but since you
explicitly ask for it:

Plenty of stuff.  For instance, something that has been discussed
recently, ^L being pagebreaks: they just figure that out very quickly
and they make plenty of use of it.

There is the silly myth that regexps are useless to newbies.  To
newbies, regexps are just spiced up strings and they get by perfectly
using plenty of regexps like "auto fill mode".  If that is going to
find anything matching two or more of these words, now _that_ is going
to confuse them.  It has been said : "experienced users can always use
"auto +fill mode" if they want a regexp, but that is forcing unobvious
tricks on _newbies_, who are the most likely to use regexps without
any special characters.  Of course, what also confuses them is that in
Emacs, the regexp "auto fill mode" sometimes matches "auto fill mode"
even when spread over several lines (which is usually what they really
want) and sometimes not, depending on the Emacs function they use.

Apart from that, people can pretty painlessly slowly graduate from
using exclusively the "auto fill type" regexp to more and more
complicated stuff, if they feel that need.

I could give more examples, but I do not want to write a one hundred page
dissertation on the subject.

What really confuses newbies (as well as experienced users) is
inconsistent behavior (such as traditional Emacs behavior and MS
Windows type behavior more or less randomly mixed together), lack of
transparency (such as abusive use of invisibility and display
properties, a very bad problem in Info, leading to surprises while
yanking or while printing off stuff).  What obviously discourages
people learning Emacs is too much change in basic behavior from one
Emacs version to the next.  It makes too much of what they have
learned useless.



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