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Re: beginner questions

From: Pascal J. Bourguignon
Subject: Re: beginner questions
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 11:26:01 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.2 (gnu/linux)

JohnF <address@hidden> writes:

> Can't use my favorite editor any more (long story, don't ask:),
> and decided to go with emacs. Of course, there are zillions of
> tutorials, etc, but most are almost-infinitely wordy, whereas
> I'm comfortable with editors and basically want a cheat sheet.
> But even they're usually too long, with lots of arcane commands
> that I'm sure I'll eventually want to know, but not while I'm
> still trying to remember how to cut-and-paste.
>   So I started making my own  but am
> having difficulty zeroing in on some info.
>   Most importantly, how to "turn off everything". For example,
> no html help, e.g., I don't want to see <u>stuff</u> or
> <h2>stuff</h2> underlined. 

M-x fundamental-mode RET

This gives you the basic editor features and nothing more.

M-x text-mode RET

is designed to edit natural language texts (paragraphs, lines, words,
characters).  It may not be useful to edit code, which is structured
quite differently from natural language text.

> And really annoying, I don't want
> the cursor to momentarily jump back to ( after I type (stuff).
> Ditto <stuff>, etc. Very distracting (to me). Basically,
> I just want a dumb editor in the sense that it shouldn't think
> it knows >>anything<< about the language/syntax I'm writing in,
> regardless of filename extension. It should just see a stream
> of uninterpreted characters, unless it sees C- or M- (or
> something with special emacs significance).

Yep, fundamental-mode will give you that.

>   And various and sundry minor questions, e.g., what exactly
> is the undo scope of C-/ and how do you just undo "last keystroke",
> and no more than that (if last keystroke was a C-y then, okay,
> undo the entire yank)?

It seems to me, history coalesce input, so that undo can't undo text
entry character by character, (unless you separate each character by
some other command, such as cursor move).  Other than that, it seems to
me that undo works like that, undoing one command at a time.

>   Finally, have I missed some tutorial/cheat-sheet-type info designed
> for my kind of needs -- already familiar with various languages
> and editors, and just wants to get down to work using emacs?
> Just wants the 100 or so most used commands "telegraphed", without
> more extra words than necessary? Thanks,
seems to be a nice and short cheat sheet.

Now of course, the big win of emacs, is when you activate those modes
that provide automatic features specific to the kind of document you're
editing and its syntax.  So fundamental-mode is not used often.  But I
agree that it may help for newbies, to start with it, and add layers and
tools later.

__Pascal Bourguignon__

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