Re: Development priorities (was Re: forwarded message from Jason White)

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]


I'd like a concise description from Whistler <whistler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> 
why he believes it is too much to ask of a user confined to a character-based
interface to learn basic interface commands to master its use.  It seems to
me that the notion that the user can reasonably be expected to learn a few
elemental commands necessary to interact with the computer, whether they are
emacs, ed, vi, or some other scheme.  To assume otherwise is to create a
barrier to providing a solution that I truly do not believe exists.  Back
in the early 80s the debate between proponents of different shells (csh 
vs. ksh as replacement for sh) argued about superiority of one system over
another, but it would never have occurred to any of the parties to argue
that the user couldn't or shouldn't have to learn *some* interface system.

Whether or not it is true that GUI systems have allowed naive users to 
access computers effectively without knowing any fundamentals (and I still
have more frustration working with MacOS than I ever had learning CP/M, 
DOS, VMS, RMS, TOPS, Windows or X Windows) I believe we should accept that
it must be within the grasp of our users to learn the basics of a necessary
method of providing computer access via the command line.  Is this argument
really about that, or is it instead a rejection of emacs per se?  

A strong argument toward the emacs system is that the next step beyond the
command line, that is, the applications interface, is a significant hurdle.
A user who learns basic emacs commands has an advantage in learning to use
emacs itself, and only emacs currently offers an integrated environment for
major computer uses that is non-proprietary.  If there were any other mode
of interaction with the OS that would similarly facilitate further computer
accessibility through a textual interface, I'd certainly consider it.  Does
anyone have such an interface to offer?

"The sum of all we drive at is that every man may enjoy the same rights that
are granted to others." -- John Locke, 1689, A Letter Concerning Toleration

[Index of Archives]     [Linux for the Blind]     [Fedora]     [Kernel List]     [Red Hat Install]     [Red Hat Watch List]     [Red Hat Development]     [Gimp]     [Yosemite News]     [Big List of Linux Books]