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Re: Newbie programmer beginning to use Emacs, Help!

From: Xah Lee
Subject: Re: Newbie programmer beginning to use Emacs, Help!
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2007 11:18:04 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0

Sean Ochoa wrote:
Hey all.  I'm sure you get this a lot for those adventurous enough to
venture out from windows (notepad-esc) text editors... but I'm totally
confused by the help files about how to use Emacs.  Here are a few of
my questions, for starters:

1.  What is the "Meta" key (I couldn't find a definition that makes
sense in documentation anywhere)?  I'm using a HP Pavillion dv9428nr
laptop running win xp pro and Emacs v22.1.1

The Meta key is a key on a Lisp Machine's keyboards (1980s). Those
keyboards went obsolete alone with lisp machines, and IBM PC keyboards
and decendents becomes the most popular (1990s and today). However,
emacs did not modernize.
(for photos and more detail, see
* Why Emacs's Keyboard Shortcuts Are Painful

「3.  What exactly is 'Dired Mode'?」

"Dired" stands for DIRectory Edit.
In modern terminology, emacs's dired-mode is just a text-based
directory browser and file manager. (meaning, you can use it to
create, delete, copy, rename files, etc.)

The "directory edit" kinda terminology reflects the fact that in the
1980s or 1970s, to do things like copy, delete etc files is in a
implementation-sense to edit the directory. Much of emacs jargons
remains in the 1980s.

You can read more about how to used dired here:
* File Management with Emacs

「2.  How to enter a command like ftp user:address@hidden
password:admin_password, so that I can work on files from my web

See a short description here:
* Fun With Emacs, section FTP (or file transfer)


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