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Re: Emacspeak tutorial complete

For the record, the Emacspeak installation that comes with Vinux is
pre-installed only.  It is not preconfigured.  The user will have to
do that himself with m-x customize.  I think it had something to do
with remastersys which is what Tony Sales uses to create the
distribution from the stock Ubuntu.  Consequently, I expanded what was
originally only supposed to be a very sparse treatment of the Emacs
Easy Customizations and went into more detail describing what it
sounded like and so forth.  Whereever possible, I did my best to
provide readers with a link to a reference source such as the
Emacspeak Users Manual, the Org Manual, the Emacs Manual, ETC. so they
could not only expand their .  learning of the current topic but,
also, to get new users in the habit of consulting these resources as
they progressed in level of advancement in Emacs.

Another reason for this is that, frankly, I am a rank beginner at all
of this.  I know how to write how-tos, tutorials, and even full-blown
courses with assessments, exercises and reading materials but, I only
started using Emacspeak in about October or something like that.  I
took pains to make very good notes as I learned things since finding
information on things specific to Emacspeak was, at the time, very
difficult for me.  I did not know what to google for and the things I
did find on Emacspeak made several unfortunate assumptions about
things I was supposed to know but did not and would often send me
haring off to read up on a ton of related things just to get a simple
concept down.  That or, the materials I would find were quite out of
date referencing things like emacspeak 14 and Mandrache Linux and
.emacs files that were supposed to be included but turned out not to
be.  People I would ask on forums, David Ring being a wonderful
exception, would remark on how awesome Emacspeak was, how productive
it made you and so forth but would close by telling me that they'd
tried learning it once and gave up due to the steep learning curve.
So, I figured that the best thing for me to do was to take good notes,
refer to them often and keep adding to them as I learned.  The other
thing was to google for Emacs things first and then Emacspeak things
afterwards.  Then we had an irc meeting on Vinux, a documentation team
was created, and there wer tons of people who could not attend due to
unfamiliarity with Irc and using it with Pidgin, Irssi and such.  I
sued Erc-mode and found it so nice and helpful that I wrote a quick
How-to for the Vinux forum.  People started trying to install
Emacspeak and getting stuck, having problems, and just not being able
to make it work.  Noone knew how to build it from source and they were
using the emacspeak 29 package in Ubuntu repositories until they found
the Emacspeak 32 package in Vinux test repository.  Still, there were
problems because people didn't understand the interface, felt daunted
by the hotkeys and would just give up and use gui tools in Gnome that,
imho, did not work as nicely for certain tasks as Emacspeak seemed to
from what I was learning.  So, about early Feb, I got a bee in my
bonnet and decided to compile my notes along with other things I
learned through on-the-fly research and make a tutorial out of it.  I
am frankly joyously surprised it came out as well as it did since I
was absolutely sure I was bungling it badly and making all sorts of
errors.  Fortunately, some folks, Robert Crawford chief among them,
pointed out any errors I had made, I fixed them and then posted it.
People over there seemed to like it.  One man is going to start using
it to write Python scripts and to chat with what sounds like half the
population of ten small countries in Erc-mode.  =)  He's just tickled
pink over Emacspeak and can't get enough of it.

Bottom line is, though, if there's any errors in there, please let me
know.  If you want to contribute to it, expand it, make it better,
ETC. thank you and be welcome to it.  All I ask is that you keep it
very simple, make no assumptions about advanced profficiency and give
plenty of good, active links to point people to for further reading.

Lord, this got long.  I'm sorry about that.

Best regards,
Alex M

On 4/2/11, D.J.J. Ring, Jr. <n1ea@arrl.net> wrote:
> Hello Robert,
> I believe there was a need for an easy to understand "how to" to get
> emacspeak up and running.  For many blind users it is a daunting task.
> But now we have Vinux which has emacspeak already working in the CD so
> people can access the great documentation.  As I mentioned above, the
> problem for many was getting it working.  Once it is working, blind users
> can explore and hear the documentation that exists.
> I wish to thank Alex, Dr. Bongo the active force behind Vinux, and the
> others of the Vinux Development team for bring emacspeak to the masses.
> Of course we are bringing emacspeak which is a tremendous program and we are
> entirely indebted to Dr. TV Raman and those on this list and the many others
> who have written lisp extensions which bring the web in all it's written and
> multimedia glory to the blind.
> I cannot tell you how appreciative I am of Dr. Raman and those of the Vinux
> team who have given us an "off the shelf" working emacspeak which is
> completely configured to do as much as we have learned to do.
> Thanks again,
> David J. Ring, Jr.
> On Sat, Apr 2, 2011 at 5:46 PM, Robert D. Crawford
> <robdcraw@gmail.com>wrote:
>> One of the nice things about the emacs community is that there is a
>> boatload of documentation already written on the net.  Searching the
>> emacswiki can always be of help to a new user.  To write completely
>> about emacs and how to do everything is, really, an insurmountable
>> task.  Better to give a good, solid introduction so that people know
>> what can be done and where to go for help and then allowing them to do
>> so.
>> Of course, this is only my opinion, worth every penny you paid for it.
>> rdc
>> Alex Midence <alex.midence@gmail.com> writes:
>> > Good day, Dr. Raman,
>> >
>> > Certainly this appeals.  I will see what I can do with this regard.
>> > I'm sure I can come up with things just by doing a search in the forum
>> > for emacspeak.  I will post what I find and keep an eye out.  So far,
>> > Emacspeak has been the big scary app for the Linux super advanced
>> > elite in the case of many with whom I've spoken.  I was hoping to
>> > change that somewhat by introducing it in a simplified way.
>> >
>> > Naming convensions and top and bottom of buffer:
>> >
>> > I found the reference to m-s-, and m-s-.   I don't remember why I
>> > included in there that way in that part of the document since, as far
>> > as I can tell, the rest uses the standard m-< and m-> convention.  I
>> > will fix that.  I actually address this very thing here:
>> > "• Shift key combinations: You probably guessed this one. s followed
>> > by a dash is short for holding down shift and hitting something else.
>> > Most of the time,
>> > shift is held down in conjunction with something else. For instance,
>> > m-s-, is alt+shift+comma. These combinations are actually pretty
>> > rarely displayed
>> > as m-s-something. Usually, they tell you to hit m-something where that
>> > something can only be gotten to by hitting shift. For example, m-< for
>> > top of buffer
>> > and m-> for bottom of buffer. You can usually only get to the < and >
>> > signs by holding shift and hitting the comma and period respectively.
>> > So, m-s-, and
>> > m-s-. That takes forever to write hence the shortened form I told you
>> about."
>> >
>> > Media:
>> >
>> > To be honest, I almost did not include a section on this topic in the
>> > tutorial because I do not use Emacspeak for this and everything I
>> > found seemed to indicate that you needed alsa-player or something like
>> > that.  In Vinux, we use Pulse Audio.  People wanted it though and Dave
>> > Hunt who has been working his way towards learning Emacspeak  at about
>> > the same time as myself contributed his howto in a forum posting.  I
>> > got his permission and modified it a bit to fit the document more.  I
>> > confess I have not tried this out myself.  If there is something you
>> > would like to see placed in it which a newcomer to Linux can wrap
>> > their head around readily, I would be greatly interested in adding it
>> > to the document.
>> >
>> > While I am on the subject of things I was not able to include either
>> > because I did not know how to do something or because I could not find
>> > anyone who was willing to write about it, I wanted to put in something
>> > about twitter and facebook.  I don't tweet and I don't have a facebook
>> > account but many people just love it to death.  I went ahead and
>> > submitted the document anyway though because time was running out for
>> > me.  My wife and I are expecting our new baby girl at the end of May
>> > and free time is steadily dwindling for me as we prepare the house to
>> > receive her.
>> >
>> > Another thing I wanted to put in was a discussion on how to use the
>> > Emacs calendar.  The docs I found on it look pretty straightforward
>> > though so, I don't feel quite so bad about that one as I do about the
>> > twitter and facebook ones.
>> >
>> > If you find other areas that could use a revision, by all means let me
>> > know and I will do my best to update the document quickly.  I
>> > certainly do not wish to propagate misinformation or complicate that
>> > which can be simpler for people.  At the same time, I want to keep the
>> > document as simple and nontechnical as I can get away with since it's
>> > a jump start document and not a comprehensive guide.  Any updates made
>> > to the document will be available to upon execution of the sudo
>> > update-manual command which will put in a fresh copy of the
>> > documentation being written for Vinux users.
>> >
>> > Best regards and thank you for your feedback,
>> > Alex M
>> >
>> >  On 4/1/11, T.V. Raman <tv.raman.tv@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >> Alex, D.J, and everyone else from the vinux world:
>> >>
>> >> After reading the tutorial Ihave a few observations:
>> >>
>> >> 1. A few years ago when I started the emacspeak blog, I   had the
>> >> intention of writing up task-oriented articles from time to time
>> >> --- basically it has not happened for the most part.
>> >>
>> >> 2. The tutorial you wrote shows abundantly that such
>> >> task-oriented articles would still be useful --- for instance,
>> >> the media player section in the tutorial misses lots of things
>> >> you can do with the m-player interface. The Web browsing section
>> >> misses out on url templates, which is probably the single most
>> >> productive aspect of web interaction with emacs/w3.
>> >>
>> >> 3. So here is a question:  I presently dont have the time to
>> >> participate on mailing lists and answer individual questions as
>> >> they come up. But if folks like yourself can volunteer to collect
>> >> questions, and group them into specific tasks e.g. "How Do I:"
>> >> type of questions, where say every set of 5 related questions
>> >> become a "task", then I can look to writing task-oriented
>> >> articles for the emacspeak blog --- you point to that content
>> >> from the vinux documentation, or include it directly.
>> >>
>> >> If this appeals to you, let me know.
>> >> --
>> >> Best Regards,
>> >> --raman
>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> Best Regards,
>> >> --raman
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> On 4/1/11, D.J.J. Ring, Jr. <n1ea@arrl.net> wrote:
>> >>> Thank you Raman,
>> >>>
>> >>> csound it is.
>> >>>
>> >>
>> >>
>> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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>> >> subject of "unsubscribe" or "help".
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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>> --
>> Robert D. Crawford                                     robdcraw@gmail.com
>> What does it mean if there is no fortune for you?
>> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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