[nSLUG] Re: pet peeves

Jack Warkentin jwark at eastlink.ca
Tue Jun 27 15:24:26 ADT 2006

Hi Everybody

I just *had* to put in my tuppenceworth on this one.

On June 27, 2006 12:59 pm, Mike Spencer wrote:
> Donald> Starting many years ago I noticed a man on a command would
> Donald> exist but point me to use of info.  I've tried info but I
> Donald> don't like it.
> But... but, Donald! info is *hypertext*!  It's kewl!
> Gak!  Don't get me going.  I hate info.  I love emacs ...

> And here's a secret I'll let y'all have for free.  Hardly anybody
> seems to know it:
>                  Hypertext sucks!

slight re-arrangement of quotations

>    http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/alien/etxtlate.html

I wish you hadn't deleted the epithet. Your highly literate 
denunciation of poor writing at the above link suggests that the 
epithet would have been well worth reading (and remembering for 
future re-use (with attribution, of course)).


> Love GNU Emacs, deeply appreciate all the FSF gnuish *ix utilities,
> think RMS is probably a genius (can you say MacArthur?) but foisting
> info on us users? <DAFFY_DUCK> That'sss  dessspicable!!

again, slight re-arrangement of quotations

> I learned Emacs by buying the printed manual and reading it cover to
> cover, then keeping the book within reach.  I can navigate in a book
> using generic literacy skills.  But every new hypertext doc has it's
> own notion of navigation, its own rendering, key strokes and its own
> cute notion of document architecture.  The much-touted "lifelong
> learning" is supposed to be cumulative.  Learning all over again how
> to do something that I *already know how to do*; and having to do so
> because it benefits someone else; that is counterproductive, a waste
> of time, a drain on my enthusiasm and creativity and a blow to my
> dignity.  Feh.

How you can say the above about navigation and still say you love 
emacs is beyond me. I despise emacs and its info offshoot. Having to 
learn all of those keyboard navigation shortcuts is only for people 
who have time to waste learning them instead of getting on with 
writing their code or whatever. By contrast, vi is simple to learn 
and a user can become very productive after learning only a very 
small number of commands. I learned the rest of what I needed to know 
about vi from a very good double-sided legal-sized summary published 
by HP for use with its HP-UX systems. Having to read a printed manual 
cover-to-cover in order to learn how to use a text editor *really 

> Donald> Maybe others have peeves like this...
> Oh, yeah! :-)  Did you want to hear about all of them?  Really?!
> Donald> changes of tides that come from a personless and originless
> Donald> mass of opinion and make no sense.
> Most of my peeves of this nature are accountable to changes
> introduced for *someone else's benefit*.
> Bill> An excellent example of the usefulness of info is the GNU
> Bill> Radius manual.  This is a book-length document, and because it
> Bill> is written in texinfo info it is available as info pages, web
> Bill> pages (all one web page, one web page per chapter, one web
> Bill> page per "node"), formatted ASCII text, dvi, postscript, pdf,
> Bill> texinfo source, and a printed book.
> Right, info is part of a system to make things easier for the GNU
> documentation maintainers. It's clever and it's good for the
> maintainers.  But it still sucks as a user doc interface.

As does emacs as a text editor.



Jack Warkentin, phone 902-404-0457, email jwark at eastlink.ca
39 Inverness Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3P 1X6


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