The Modernization of Emacs: terminology buffer and keybinding

Twisted twisted0n3 at
Wed Jun 20 23:36:28 CEST 2007

On Jun 20, 5:22 pm, Matthias Buelow <m... at> wrote:
> Twisted wrote:
> > That's a joke, right? I tried it a time or two. Every time it was
> > rapidly apparent that doing anything non-trivial would require
> > consulting a cheat sheet. The printed-out kind, since navigating to
> > the help and back without already having the help displayed and open
> > to the command reference was also non-trivial.
> Ah, yes.. we live in a time where no-one seems to have the patience to
> read documentation anymore. Maybe that's why there is such a scarcity of
> good documentation with many "modern" software packages.

Emacs does have documentation. The problem is you have to already know
a load of emacs navigation oddities^Wkeyboard commands to get to and
use it.

Also, basic tasks should not require consulting the documentation,
unless the application genre is new to the user. Basic tasks requiring
the uninitiated to consult the documentation is okay in 3D modeling
apps, given the "uninitiated" have used none before. Basic tasks
requiring the uninitiated to consult the documentation is absolutely
ludicrous in a text editor.

I count "consulting the documentation" as one of those basic tasks,
along with the fundamental editing, saving, loading, and searching
functionality (including, of course, "searching the documentation").

> ``I abhor a system designed for the "user", if that word is a coded
> pejorative meaning "stupid and unsophisticated".''

Yeah, and I abhor the elitist systems that are designed with the
philosophy that anyone who hasn't mastered years of arcane
memorization and training in just that one idiosyncratic system is /
ipso facto/ "stupid and unsophisticated". Most of us 6 and a half
billion people have better uses for our time, such as buckling in and
being promptly productive, once we're out of high school or college,
and fully three and a quarter of us are at least as smart as average,
and so /ipso facto/ *not* "stupid and unsophisticated".

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