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Re: [tlug] Re: Alan Cox's remark at Fosdem

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On Thu, Mar 03, 2005 at 09:27:39AM -0500, Josh Glover wrote:
> On Thu, 3 Mar 2005 09:20:15 -0500, Viktor Pavlenko <> wrote:
> > Emacs has many pairs of hands because it serves many purposes (it's
> > not just MUA, or just text editor, but you know that). If you divide
> > number of its purposes by number of its hands, you'll get about one
> > and a half :)
> > 
> > 
> > In general, user interface should be flexible (programmable?) so that
> > one can adjust it to their own tastes/needs.
> Emacs is not a text editor, it is a way of life. :)

The old joke, I tried to learn emacs then settled for learning a simpler
O/S (timidly writes the vi user).
> But I could not agree more about the importance of being able to
> customise *everything* about your environment. That is why I use
> XEmacs and mutt, for example. Both provide sensible defaults, but let
> you modify the behaviour of anything you want. Emacs of course even
> more so than Mutt, given the fact that it exposes its guts to the
> built-in Lisp interpreter.

This, I think is the trouble with original argument.  Flexible as mutt
is, going back to the analogy of hands....

We use hammers.  It is true that with years of training, some people can
hammer a nail with their fists.   However, how many people are willing,
or have the time, to make that a priority?  Many of us use mutt, and we
neither need nor want a gui emailer.  However, my users feel they need a
gui.  I remember logging into my workstation from a user's box, using
putty.  She tried to be funny and said, "I'm going to read your
email".  (She could see that I had mail in my personal folder.  I
watched her click with the mouse on it, and get annoyed when nothing

The point is that although these people probably could learn to use
mutt, it doesn't really meet their needs, and computers for them are a
tool, in the same way that most people prefer to not use their hands to
hammer a nail. 

Although as I write this, I begin to see holes in my own argument, I
think the hammer analogy is too good to give up on this post. :)

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