The Modernization of Emacs: terminology buffer and keybinding

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at ceid.upatras.gr
Mon Jun 25 20:28:22 CEST 2007


On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 21:51:34 -0000, Twisted <twisted0n3 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> C-h i, C-x b RET is non-trivial?!?
[...]
> I'm sorry. I don't speak Chinese.
>
> I trust I've made my point. Not only does it insist you learn a whole
> other language (though I'm guessing it's not actually Chinese --
> Greek, maybe), even when you know that's a bunch of keystrokes and
> even what they are...
>
> HOW IN THE BLOODY HELL IS IT SUPPOSED TO OCCUR TO SOMEONE TO ENTER
> THEM, GIVEN THAT THEY HAVE TO DO SO TO REACH THE HELP THAT WOULD TELL
> THEM THOSE ARE THE KEYS TO REACH THE HELP?!

No it's not Greek.  I can assure you it isn't, because I *am* Greek.

Now, regarding your shouting about the keys, have you tried using a
recent GNU Emacs installation?  The first thing that pops up when a new
user runs Emacs looks like this:

,-----------------------------------------------------------------------
| Welcome to GNU Emacs, a part of the GNU operating system.
|
| Type C-l to begin editing.
|
| Get help           C-h  (Hold down CTRL and press h)
| Emacs manual       C-h r
| Emacs tutorial     C-h t           Undo changes     C-x u
| Buy manuals        C-h C-m         Exit Emacs       C-x C-c
| Browse manuals     C-h i
| Activate menubar   F10  or  ESC `  or   M-`
| (`C-' means use the CTRL key.  `M-' means use the Meta (or Alt) key.
| If you have no Meta key, you may instead type ESC followed by the character.)
|
| GNU Emacs 22.1.50.2 (i386-unknown-freebsd7.0, X toolkit)
|  of 2007-05-29 on kobe
| Copyright (C) 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
|
| GNU Emacs comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; type C-h C-w for full details.
| Emacs is Free Software--Free as in Freedom--so you can redistribute copies
| of Emacs and modify it; type C-h C-c to see the conditions.
| Type C-h C-d for information on getting the latest version.
`-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Basic reading skills are necessary to parse this 'splash' screen, but it
shouldn't be too hard to read a few lines of text which guide you about
the proper key sequence to reach the tutorial, right?

> Of course, Notepad is so easy to use it doesn't even need help,
> despite which it's readily available. In case you forgot the bog-
> standard (and therefore it IS self-evident) "F1" there's even a "Help"
> menu in plain view as soon as you open a Notepad.

There's also a "Help" menu in plain sight when you fire up Emacs with an
X11 interface.  I don't see why Notepad is special in any way here.

> This is the lowly Notepad, which I'll freely admit is the rusty
> bicycle of text editors, and it's much easier to use (including the
> help) than the supposed Mercedes-Benz of editors.

Isn't this always the case?  The 'interface' of a tiny bicycle is
something which even very young kids can master pretty fast.  On the
other hand, I'm relatively sure there's at least one valid reason we
don't let pre-school aged children drive around Mercedes-Benz cars,
isn't there?




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