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Re: Introduction and proposed contribution



This live CD idea sounds like it would be fun to build.  Maybe I'll
get started.  

I agree that so many emacs applications and emacs, in general for that
matter, don't offer a lot for startup configurations.  A fresh install
of emacs or anything related to it has always required a user to
completely populate the configuration parameters from scratch and copy
whatever from info pages and the like.  I rather like the idea of
fully loaded configurations with self-describing comments to help out
the person going through the file.  Many other linux type applications
do this.  Take Samba, mysql, postgresql and others for example.  But
for a new-comer, even the self-commented config files would be rather
daunting.  So a pre-built live CD deal may be good but it will have to
be emphasised that there are many other user definable choices and
make it clear that to get even more out of this new environment, "you"
the user, will need to study the materials and gain a comfort level
making changes to emacs.  The custom facility in emacs does make this
considerablly easier than before.

On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 01:58:00AM -0600, Stephen Cagle wrote:
> Agreed, live CD would probably be even better than virtual machine. Good
> idea.
> 
> I agree that we should not assume that we are smart enough to know the type
> of uses people will find for emacs. We should not discard anyone. I think
> one of the biggest hurdles to trying emacspeak out is actually
> installing/configuring the software. Live CD would allow people to easily
> demonstrate the power of emacspeak anywhere or to anyone.
> 
> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 12:45 AM, Jude DaShiell <jdashiel@shellworld.net>wrote:
> 
> > 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 <samedhi@gmail.com>
> > 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.
> > >
> > > Tim
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > > On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 5:38 PM, Jason White <jason@jasonjgw.net>
> > wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> Alex Midence <alex.midence@gmail.com> 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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> > > >> subject of "unsubscribe" or "help".
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >

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