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George Bonser wrote:
> On Sun, 1 Feb 1998, Sailesh Krishnamurthy wrote:
> > Well if emacs is too large, there are quite a few "emacs-like" editors like joe
> > and jed which are small enough, and offer a comfortable home for a new user.
> > Definitely more comfortable than vi.
> More comfortable if you use emacs.  I find vi more comfortable than emacs
> probably because I use it.  We need a text editor like pico that lets the
> user use the arrow keys, backspace over text to erase it &c.

Let me throw a new spin on this incompitence theory.  I have used Linux
for over 3 years now on my own machine.  The only time I've used vi is
when I had no other choice.  Such as when installing a new distro that
only included it.  Once I could get a simpler program I did and vi
gathred dust.

This is for a few reasons.  I have yet to find anything to do on my
system that required any editor other than something like pico or ae. 
Whenever I would get in the mood to play with source files, I would get
a program like ddd or use Xemacs.  The most prominent reason is because
I don't wish to learn vi or emacs.  I want to open a program, do what I
opened it for and close it.

I would rather spend a week finding a more intuitive interface
(primitive if you like) than spend more than a month learning how to use
vi or emacs.  I have better things to do than sit reading doc's to learn
how to tab a paragraph over.

Emacs and vi (and other such programs) are left over from the old tty
days.  Those days required such complicated key bindings to be as
versitile as they are.  That is no longer the case and is a direct
reason for the spread of computer use into the average users home.  We
can display menus now.  One only needs to remember the menu command to
use the program.

It boils down to the efficient use of time.  Not always inability to
understand.  People don't want to spend time learning when they can use
another program within minutes of starting it for the first time.

> Debian ships with ae ... at least it gives you a help screen at the top of
> the page.

A note on ae.  ae will screw up when you arrow to the bottom of the
screen (somethimes) and offset the cursor by a line or two.  I learned
this the hard way when editing a config file and noticing it modified
the line above the one I wanted to edit.  This was the SVGATextmode
config and as a result I had to reboot into my rescue partition to fix
it.  IT's done this to varying degrees through the past few versions. 
Pico will merge the first and second pages when paging down from the top
of the doc.

> > In any case, I feel that people often underestimate the abilities of the
> > average user. I'm not saying that I feel the average user is willing to make an
> > effort .. just that results are often surprising.

This is true *in some cases*, such as when their job requires it, but
I've had some clients that just couldn't catch on.  Most of them

> If they are going to have to learn anything other than <return> to add a
> blank line or anything other than <up-arrow> to move the cursor up a line,
> it is probably too complex.

Yes.  In most cases, too complex for them to bother with when they can
continue using Winblows software and need to study much less to get the
job done.

> If people read manuals, we would not need SEUL.

Not true.  Why is Debian more popular than slugware even with
experienced Linux users?  They know what they're doing and could deal
with the manual configuring and such, but prefer to use a distro that
does the right thing to begin with so they can drive on with what
they're doing.

Out here,

Rick Jones