Re: [linux-audio-user] Usability vs Intuitability in Ardour

From: <>
Date: Tue Jul 26 2005 - 14:20:11 EEST

On Tue, 26 Jul, 2005 at 10:36AM +0100, tim hall spake thus:
> Last Monday 25 July 2005 22:15, Kevin Cosgrove was like:
> > On 25 July 2005 at 15:46, Ben Loftis <ben@email-addr-hidden> wrote:
> > > Most professional audio gear is like a bicycle. A bike is
> > > certainly not intuitive to a first time user, but once you
> > > learn how to balance, steer, etc, you can get around faster
> > > than someone on foot. This has sometimes been described as
> > > "intuitable" rather than intuitive.
> >
> > Or, "discoverable" versus "usable".
> >
> > Word is easy to discover for easy things to do. 'vi' is
> > *much* faster, if my 'vi' speed versus the 'Word' speed of my
> > compatriots is any gauge. Pull-down menus are "intuitive", where
> > as hot-keys are not. But, hot-keys get the work done quickly
> > once they're known. Pull-down menus which list their hot-key
> > shortcuts in the menu are quite nice for me. The Opera web
> > browser is one example of this.
> Thanks Kevin. All keybindings have to be learned. I can't use vi without
> constant reference to the manual. I dare say the same would be true of emacs.
> I dislike them both and use nedit for everything, simply because it works
> much more like a Windows based editor, so I had to relearn less in order to
> get typing when I first migrated. It's nothing to do with intuitabilty either
> - old habits die hard.

Gah, sod it. Here goes:

Emacs might be awkward at first. Just like walking might be awkward
when you're used to crawling. That doesn't justify going to work on
your hands and knees.

People get past the learning curve and use Emacs because once they do,
they find that they can do things more quickly and easily than they
can in anything else. Some things are just impossible to do in
Windows-like editors without a lot of hard work - replace-regexp is my
favourite example, and has saved me hours of work. Add to that the
syntax highlighting, indentation awareness, cooperation with make,
latex, javac, whatever, region comment/uncomment, etc., etc., and you
will begin to see why learning Emacs is worth it.

Vi people will say the same kind of things about Vi, but of course,
they only like Vi because they haven't got used to Emacs yet.

And there is one more thing that I love about Emacs that will probably
be seen as a problem by others: I don't know all of it. That's right,
I enjoy my ignorance. I learn new things all the time, and my
"editing experience" is enriched. Please excuse that lapse into
marketing speak.

Notice I have stayed away from calling Emacs the One True Editor.
This isn't because it's not, but because that kind of talk tends to
scare people away.

Emacs is the only religion I need.
> cheers,
> tim hall

"I'd crawl over an acre of 'Visual This++' and 'Integrated Development
That' to get to gcc, Emacs, and gdb.  Thank you."
(By Vance Petree, Virginia Power)
Received on Tue Jul 26 16:15:13 2005

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