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Re: Emacspeak tutorial complete

I'll have to reread the How-to that David and his friends created in
09 on googledocs to see if it's there but, I know that in the one I
wrote, I used that very saying about teaching a man to fish.  My
students get sick of me saying that to them, lol.  The trick is to
whet their appetite enough with a small fish and then send them off to
fish once they've seen the rewards.  Send them off unfed and they're
never going to want to learn what you teach them until they get

Letting folks figure stuff out on their own works rather well in one
and only one scenario:  An overarching powerful need or desire to
accomplish a task.

Otherwise, you can pretty much pack it up.  If someone is just mildly
curious or something they find easier fulfills their needs, the more
complex if superior option is almost always discarded.  These days,
people don't like to read much whether it's docs or books or just
about anything.  I work in customer service.  I have held workshops
for call center agents wherein I prepared them for calls they would
receive resulting from a mailing our company sent out.  I always teach
them to be prepared for the person who says:  "I got a letter from you
people in the mail.  What does it say?  What's it about?"  This is
because this, instead of some cogent point or other contained in the
document itself winds up being the single most frequently asked
question.  If people can't be bothered to read small letters at times,
you can rest assured that they won't want to read anything complicated
unless they have a really good need to obtain the information. If and
when they do, they are more likely to read it when in their comfort
zone and not while they are in the thick of things.  Where am I going
with this?  I state in my tutorial that I recommend that it be read
outside of Emacspeak for the first time by the reader.  I don't
recommend that they do it from within Emacspeak if it's their first
time using it.  I most assuredly stress the importance of going
through the Emacs tutorial but, I think someone used to hitting
control home for top of document, control end for bottom of document,
using the number pad to navigate it, and used to hitting alt f4 to
exit will often come to a screeching halt when they have to do c-e n
to read to end of buffer from point, m-< for top and m-> for bottom
(meta produces a big HUH?, usually), and c-x c-c to exit.  This, of
course, is if they even know that these things need to be hit to begin
with.  If they go in assuming that the usual keystrokes they are used
to apply, they find themselves lost, frustrated and just wanting to
quit.  I can't tell you how often that question comes up:  "How do I
quit out of Emacspeak?"  It doesn't make for a palatable first time
experience.  So, my advice is read the proverbial map before you
embark upon your journey and not during for best results.

Alex M

On 4/2/11, D.J.J. Ring, Jr. <n1ea@arrl.net> wrote:
> Hello RDC,
> We agree exactly.  The problem for most is that emacspeak fails to build and
> come out speaking.  Add to that the difficulty that many users have at
> adding (or even knowing) lines to the .bashrc file. It took me well over a
> year to figure out that people were talking
> about a file that should be created in my home directory.
> Now that I know about it, I know what people here are talking about.
> Unfortunately many here use shorthand with some explanations.  No blame
> meant.  People are busy.
> You can understand that when a person says change the .bashrc file and they
> have none they get quite confused. <grin>.
> So what we hopefully have done is make a HOW TO that tells a user how to get
> emacspeak up and running.
> I had to repeat the emacspeak notice about how to get help about thirty
> times because there is a delay in many Linux sound systems that chop the
> words until about ten seconds later.  I didn't even realize it was telling
> me where to get help.
> If I could have read it on the opening screen it would have been nice, but
> we repeated what is said in the HOW TO and people can read it:  "Oh, that's
> what emacspeak is saying to me!".
> Again, it was a HOW TO designed to help those who DO NOT have emacspeak
> working, to get it up and running and telling them HOW to get the
> documentation WITHIN emacspeak.
> Once they have the program running, and know the key commands to find the
> tutorial and maybe the key strokes to get a web browser running - I
> recommend w3 and I tell people how to get that installed.
> Once they have it working, it is OK.  But getting it working takes some
> blind users several years without sighted help because they don't know the
> questions to ask, or they just get confused or they try to add lines to the
> dot bashrc file but there is none.
> If someone were to have said, "You have to add lines to your .bashrc file in
> your home directory which is the directory under /home with your user name.
> .bashrc is a hidden file because it is preceded with a period.  If you do
> not have a .bashrc file you can easily make one by either opening an editor
> for that file, or just issuing the command "touch .bashrc" in your terminal,
> then use the editor to add the lines needed.
> That would have saved me about a year - I got discouraged many times, but I
> kept reading and reading and reading.  Finally it dawned on me that people
> were telling me about a .bashrc file that may not exist..
> The most difficult thing in the world is to ask questions about something
> that you do not know the words to ask about it.  Google fails when you leave
> the search box blank.
> Best to all - and congrats to the Vinux team for a wonderful job.  May it
> free many people from darkness and allow them to connect and be productive
> with a computer that is now accessible..
> Thanks!
>  David J. Ring, Jr., N1EA <http://www.qsl.net/n1ea/>
> SOWP <http://www.sowp.org/>, VWOA <http://www.vwoa.org/>,
> OOTC<http://www.ootc.us/>,
> FISTS <http://www.fists.co.uk/>, CW-Ops <http://www.cwops.org/>,
> JARL-A1<http://a1club.net/>,
> A1-OP <http://www.arrl.org/a-1-op>, ex-FOC 1271
> ARRL-LM<http://www.arrl.org/>
>  Chat Skype: djringjr MSN: djringjr@msn.com AIM: N1EA icq: 27380609
>  Radio-Officers Google
> Group<http://groups.google.com/group/radio-officers?hl=en>-- Marine
> Morse Historic Recordings Page <http://www.qsl.net/n1ea/>

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