Emacs touch

I recently came across a thread in
comp.lang.python namely The Modernization of Emacs which stressed the need for changing emacs to "appeal to the masses" I actually clicked the thread just because of the sheer number of replies to thread - 269 last count. But upon reading, I found it really interesting. I had almost given up learning emacs, after I felt it was not worth it, but this reply by Bjorn Borud made me start thinking.
I am quoting his reply here and I bet these, are worth a read.

Sometimes it is better than what you had before, but often it is not really better, just different. a good example is the web and the applications we implement in terms of the web. take forums for instance. in a strict technical sense, web-based forums are inferior to NNTP-based forums.for my uses, web forums are a huge step back from NNTP.

There are two types of "user friendly". there's "user friendly" and then there is "beginner friendly" which is often mislabeled. the latter is more important for applications which are to be used casually. like utilities you only use once or twice per year -- those need to be "beginner friendly".

for applications you are likely to use for prolonged periods of time (like programming, video editing, music production etc), it does not make sense to optimize for "beginner friendly". at least not at the cost of making the application less "user friendly".

applications you spend a lot of time using are worth an investment in learning how to use them. what creates friction in an application you know reasonably well is when common tasks are fiddly. for instance, while menus are often good for casual use and lower the initial threshold for absolute beginners, depending heavily on menu navigation becomes too fiddly if you are performing a certain task 2-3 times per minute. it is not _user_ friendly.

Emacs is rather "user friendly", but not very "beginner friendly". when I was first confronted with it, the sort of text editors I was used to were Wordstar and derivatives of it. I was rather annoyed that it didn't do what I expected, so I just used a different editor.

a few years later I bemoaned the fact that Emacs was so hard to use during a conversation with a friend. he asked me if I had actually made an effort to learn Emacs, which of course I hadn't. so I figured I might as well give it a shot.

following the tutorial that comes with Emacs (and which is referred to in the startup message) I spent a couple of hours one afternoon learning the basics. already the next day I started using Emacs for programming. the week after I had progressed to using it as my newsreader (which I still do to this day) and eventually I started reading my email in Emacs. perhaps two months after I had sat down to learn Emacs I wrote my first Emacs extensions in Emacs Lisp. mostly simple stuff to make common programming tasks easier.

After all these I decided to give emacs another try(In windows XP), this time, a more dedicated one. I went to this site(The site contains detailed instructions on installing emacs on windows) and downloaded the latest emacs from the gnu site(Its a 13 mb download).

so I hope, no I think i WILL become an emacs Pro some day



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