It all comes down to exposure possibilities. One of the secretaries who
worked in my first full-time job location had emacs installed on her
computer and it was known all over the base that anyone attempting to
replace it with a Microsoft product was going to get themselves hurt.
She also had the full support of her boss in this respect, and it doesn't
pay to mess around with security types. I'm sure that secretary would
have had little to no problem with emacspeak too. I'm wondering now how
hard it would be to make an emacspeak live cd and then put it up on the
internet for people to download and try. If it had an installation script
on it so that emacspeak and Linux could take over an entire computer when
the user was confident enough with it, then many of the issues with
respect to installation guides at least would go away for those using the
live cd. Unfortunately most of my time is taken up by windows or by now I
might have learned how to do this and got it done. On Sat, 12 Feb 2011,
Tim Cross wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 11:34 AM, Stephen Cagle <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > I think we can all agree that T.V. Raman is a fine technical writer. I
> > think there is however a rather limited number of up to date
> > AND singularly sourced guides to getting started with emacspeak. If someone
> > wants to make a minimal "getting up and running with emacspeak" guide, then
> > I think that would be quite a boon to emacspeak in general.
> There have been several efforts to create 'friendly' user guides, getting
> started tutorials, etc. The real problem is that once written, they are not
> maintained and over time, become increasingly out of date. Rather than
> re-invent the wheel, I think it would be better to start with something like
> the installation-guide and users-guide which come with emacspeak.
> Contributions and improvements to these guides have always been welcomed in
> the past. It is better to have one definitive guide for installation and use
> rather than multiple guides scattered around the net in various stages of
> copleteness or levels of accuracy.
> > Just some random things to consider:
> > Will emacspeak ever be useful to less technically inclined people? That is,
> > will it always primarily be used by programmers and other technical persons
> > who use emacs? Is it possible to get less technical people to use emacs? Is
> > it worthwhile?
> > Certainly possible for less technical people to use it. Probably not
> worhtwhile trying to do so. I think the best course of action is to make
> emacspeak as good as possible, with good documentation and let its main
> drawing power be its alternative (and I would argue better) approach. If it
> has enough of an advantage over alternatives, it will attract those who
> would benefit/appreciate its difference.
> Finally, what about virtualization solutions today? Perhaps a vmware (or
> > some other) image of a Linux distro with emacspeak properly set up and
> > configured could be created. This would allow novices to "test drive"
> > emacspeak without having to take the full Linux/emacs/emacspeak plunge. I
> > think this might make Alex's goal of bringing emacspeak to the windows
> > masses easier, as they would not have to worry about the initial hardware
> > question.
> > Hmm - not sure. Those who are uncomfortable with the hardware and Linux are
> probably going to be just as uncomfortable with an appliance approach and
> dealing with virtual machines/images etc.
> I think a better approach would be to help out one of the 'specialist'
> distros like vinux to make sure the emacspeak they include in the distro is
> as robust and optimally configured as possible. People can then run from the
> live cd image to try things out and later, if they want to, either do a dual
> boot or a virtual image.
> > On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 5:38 PM, Jason White <email@example.com> wrote:
> >> Alex Midence <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> >> > I've noticed in my learning of Emacspeak that, while there are plenty
> >> > of reference materials, the number of up-to-date tutorial-style
> >> > documents geared towards a raw newbie are somewhat sparse and spread
> >> > out and are written in a way that someone coming from a strong Ms
> >> > Windows background would find rather laborious to follow, increasing
> >> > their learning curve unnecessarily. This is probably because a lot of
> >> > it was written by people who have used Linux for longer than Windows
> >> > has been accessible (oh, what a battle that has been!) and, as is the
> >> > case with many a developer, are more comfortable writing code than
> >> > writing documents.
> >> Actually, T.V. Raman, the author of Emacspeak, is one of the most
> >> accomplished
> >> technical writers that I have encountered - he is adept at writing prose
> >> as
> >> well as code.
> >> I would suggest reading his papers describing Emacspeak before you embark
> >> on
> >> preparing a tutorial; this will give you a deeper understanding of the
> >> design
> >> principles of the Emacspeak user interface.
> >> > What I propose to do is to write a simple tutorial for newcomers to
> >> > Emacspeak geared towards people who are new to command line, Linux and
> >> Emacs
> >> > as well.
> >> A fundamental question that I would suggest considering is this: what do
> >> such
> >> people really need to know before they can comfortably read Emacs
> >> documentation, manual pages, HOWTO documents and other sources?
> >> I have read claims in several places to the effect that it's harder for
> >> former
> >> MS-Windows users to learn a UNIX-like environment than it is for absolute
> >> beginners who have had no prior computing experience. Presumably, to the
> >> extent that this is the case, it is because MS-Windows users have to set
> >> aside
> >> their prior knowledge and habits in making the adjustment. I'm only
> >> speculating here; the last Microsoft product that I ever used was DOS 6
> >> and I
> >> opted entirely out of Windows in favour of Linux at that time.
> >> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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