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Re: Info sucks?

>>"Avery" == Avery Pennarun <apenwarr@worldvisions.ca> writes:

	I really think we should not be having this discussion. To
 prove it, read my comments below. 

 Avery>   - there's a *context sensitive* status bar at the bottom of the
 Avery>     screen, offering useful and relevant keystrokes for
 Avery>     whatever you're doing.

	Very distrcting. This maybe novice friendly, but is extremely
 distracting to the advanced user who does not need the help.

 Avery>   - all menu bars are accessible with the mouse, ALT-keys (CUA
 Avery>     standard, and a very good idea) and F10+arrows (not so
 Avery>     intuitive but sometimes useful).  Often-used menu bar
 Avery>     options tell you hotkeys to launch them: learn as you go,
 Avery>     *without* going out of your way to read manuals.

	Alt keys are usefule for other things besides menus (I use
 them for ALTernate input methods)However, like Emacs, one shuld
 provide access to the menu through the keyboard too. I guess I

 Avery>   - context-sensitive online help.  If you have a problem, press F1 (CUA
 Avery>     standard key) and it tells you information that's
 Avery>     *relevant* to your current situation.  Press F1 again and
 Avery>     it tells you how to use the help system.

	I prefer that on Shift-right button, where Emacs puts it. Not
 only context sensitive help, but context sensitive actions (try psgml
 mode with sgml-tags-menu bound there when editing SGML. Contenxt
 sensitive editing at its best. 

 Avery> joe is my favourite non-programming Unix editor, but it lacks
 Avery> a lot of this.  emacs is the most powerful Unix editor, but it
 Avery> also lacks friendliness -- how quickly can you navigate the
 Avery> menu bar with the keyboard in emacs?  I don't even know *how*.

	Your lack of knowledge proves nothing. I have no idea how to
 access help in a CUA program using the keyboard, but I do in
 Emacs. Does that not make Emacs good, CUA bad?

 Avery> Yet with every CUA program, I instantly know how to use the
 Avery> menu bar.

	And I do not What does that prove?

 Avery> There are a lot of important user interface considerations
 Avery> that many, many Unix programs simply ignore, and that CUA
 Avery> takes into account.  I won't use the word "intuitive" to
 Avery> describe this because, as many people pointed out, there's no
 Avery> such thing as a completely "intuitive" interface.

	I know. Now, if everyone would just follow emacs lead in
 propah unser interfaces ...

 Avery> But there are good and bad interfaces, and I take that as an
 Avery> absolute fact.


 Avery> Good interfaces take advantage of human observational
 Avery> characteristics (eg.  when things change, they are more
 Avery> obvious), spacial memory, incremental learning, and skill with
 Avery> metaphors.  You can start simple and learn without trying very
 Avery> hard all at once.

	Precisely my sentiments. One just starts with an emacs
 tutorial, and one learns the basics. Then one grows in elisp, and
 becomes more and more sophisticated, learning incrementally,
 configuring ones environment in layers, until the beast breathes,
 creates intelligent random signatures, and even thinks for one. 

 Avery> Bad user interfaces choose arbitrary keys (yes, of COURSE it's
 Avery> C-X C-C or :q to quit!), do not provide hints (menu bar? what
 Avery> menu bar?), ignore common user assumptions (old versions of
 Avery> info didn't use the arrow keys) and require extensive
 Avery> explanations of seemingly simple operations (cut and paste in
 Avery> wordstar, navigation versus insert mode in vi).

	I know. But Emacs has had a menu bar for longer than there
 have been windows, I think. 

 Avery> The first time you start vi or emacs, you have to _fight_ with
 Avery> the darn things to get out again.

	Ah, pah. How does one get out of a windows program? I
 definitely do not want to open or close files. I want to quit. Now

	Emacs tells you how to get out on start up. If you explaore
 the menu, it shows you again how to exit. Why should I go to the file
 menu to exit the program? Search me. 

 Avery> Same with info reader, and lots of other Unix user interfaces.
 Avery> I don't care how much you're used to emacs and vi -- that's
 Avery> all it is.  They aren't, and will never be, examples of good
 Avery> user interface design.

	Your darned opinioin. I find Emacs to be the best user
 interface that god ever put on the face of the earth. Not like some
 of the pointy clickey counter intutive point until you die

 Avery> It bothers me that so many advanced programmers -- and I
 Avery> consider myself, and many of the Debian developers, members of
 Avery> that group -- live in their own little bubble, assuming that
 Avery> what's easy for them is easy for everybody.  That's not true
 Avery> at all; in particular, many, many people do not retain much
 Avery> information when they read high-density stuff like emacs
 Avery> documentation.  Most people don't learn as fast as we do.

	You do not go far enough. Nobody can create an interface that
 everyone finds easy to use (I hate Word, it has the most obtuse and
 opaque user interface). 

	One mans meat is ....

 Avery> It is possible (really!) to design an interface that's easy
 Avery> and powerful for everyone *including* us.

	Name me one. You have not so far. 

 Avery> Don't duplicate a bad UI just because you're used to it --

	Right. Stay far far away from CUA and other horrors.

 Avery> design it well, and your program will be better for everyone.

	Make it like emacs, and the world shall beat a path to your door.

	Can we all get away from this jihad now?

 hitler hitler hitler. Is this topic dead, then?

 "Let no one mistake it for comedy, farcical though it may be in all
 its details.  It serves notice on the country that Neanderthal man is
 organizing in these forlorn backwaters of the land, led by a fanatic,
 rid of sense and devoid of conscience.  Tennessee, challenging him
 too timorously and too late, now sees its courts converted into camp
 meetings and its bill of rights made a mock of by its sworn officers
 of the law." Mencken, about the Scopes Monkey Trial
Manoj Srivastava  <srivasta@acm.org> <http://www.datasync.com/%7Esrivasta/>
Key C7261095 fingerprint = CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05  CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E

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