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Re: Emacspeak, Open Source Software, Free Software And Blind Users

Hi all,

<smiling broadly>  Ha, but Gary, this guy knew the concept.  He needed
the command to do what he wanted to do.  He is a task oriented
learner, and you did just right to teach him the way you did.  

I admire your use of function keys to achieve a result.  Does this
mean that the old set of commands will not work any more?  What if the
program gets corrupted or if the student wants to progress beyond the
function keys?  Is that possible?  the beauty I find in Linux is that
you can progress just as fast as you like, you can learn small bits
and put them together to make a whole, building on what you knew from

Yes, the help files are not helpful if you are seeking commands to
enable your concepts.    Maybe a melding of the two ways to learn has
to take place?  I know that I much prefer to get a short list of steps
to take in order to do something, as opposed to reading a long section
of man pages.  So, it works both ways.  Now we have to find a way to
meld these two approaches so we can reach the two types of learners.  

One caveat, Gary.  Do not change the lingo.  Why?  Because if your
student gets on the net and someone says, can you FTP that file,
whether he types m-x ftp and follows that with a host name and so on,
or if he types m-x ftp and has his netrc file do the work, or if he
hits f7 and types in a host name; none of that matters.  What matters
is that he knows what FTP means.  It means File Transfer protocol.  It
is "the way you send files to somebody".  Don't call it anything else,
that is what it is, and it is understood all over the net.  It's just
like learning French.  You can't say "gato" when you mean "chat". You
have to say, "chat" because that is what it is called in French.
therefore, you have to use the right names for things in computerese
too.  Calling FTP send-file or file-away or scram-file or here-file or
come-file isn't going to help the computer user on the net.  FTP
will.  Indeed, what you will do is create a group of netizens who were
like the poor first graders in the U.S who were taught to read by
using a simplified phonetic alphabet.  By the time they got to fourth
grade, none of them could read.  Don't make *that* mistake.

Ann P.

P.S., I expect to see you two arguing in some corner of a restaurant
at some future convention, then.  <smile>  


Ann K. Parsons:  email:  akp@eznet.net
evoice:  2440477     ICQ Number:  33006854
WEB SITE:  http://home.eznet.net/~akp
"All that is gold does not glitter.  Not all those who wander are lost."  JRRT

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