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RE: [External] : Re: Netiquette is way to go

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: [External] : Re: Netiquette is way to go
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2022 15:42:57 +0000

> How I see it: user did not express himself about "indentation" but
> tried in his own words to explain what is happening and what is
> desired.

That's fine, and normal.  But when he felt that
his words weren't resulting in the info he felt
would help, he made little/no effort to improve
the communication.  Repeating the same words,
over and over, and in multiple venues, instead
gave the same result over and over, here & there.

> We cannot expect of users new to Emacs to know what is
> electric-indent-mode as that is too high expectation...
> We cannot tell to users "why you did not ask about
> electric-indent-mode" as that means we have too high expectations.

Of course.  I don't think anyone expected that.
You're raising a straw man, or preaching to the
choir.  People here and on web sites made a
good-faith attempt to understand what he was
asking/needing, and answering that.

> We cannot even expect users to read the manual first before asking on
> the mailing list for help. As by reading manual one would find out
> that indentation is automatic.

Of course.  The manual is an aid.  But it's
generally not First Aid.

> I use Emacs long time, and I did not know that indentation is
> automatic until I read the manual yesterday to find out about it. I
> was under impression that I have set the indentation in my init.el and
> forgot about it.
> We can't have too high expectations on this mailing list. This is not
> for experienced users only, not for developers, it is for "Help".

Of course.

Here's what helps, IMO.  Start by learning how
to _Ask Emacs_.  The basics of that include the
help commands (menu-bar menu `Help', `C-h' keys).

If `RET' results in behavior that you don't like
or don't understand, use `C-h k' to find out what
that behavior is, and how to prevent it or change
it in some way.

If the first reaction each time is just to ask a
_from-scratch_ question in a forum, you'll get
help, but the help won't be nearly as quick,
helpful, educational, and efficient as if you ask
Emacs first, to get some background info at least.  

Then ask a question based on that info.  In
Fortran mode `C-h RET' tells me that `RET' invokes
command `newline', and it tells me what that key

AND it says that if I'm in `electric-indent-mode'
(gee, what's that?) then:

 this indents the final new line that it adds,
 and reindents the preceding line.  To just insert
 a newline, use M-x electric-indent-just-newline.

And it tells me about other modes, and variables,
that also affect the behavior.

And following the `electric-indent-mode' link
tells me more about that mode, including how to
turn it off and how to change its behavior.

Having done a little due diligence, starting
from `C-h RET' would, I'm certain, have produced
a clearer question from OP - one that would have
resulted in help that OP would have found
satisfactory, instead of resulting in frustration
and anger here and there.

It's not about Emacs or Emacs experts trying to
force anything on OP (Emacs the "dictator").
It's about the best way for OP to help himself
and help others help him.

And again, unhelpful, belligerent communication
might well result in less help for OP in the
long run, i.e., for other questions.

Yes, asking Emacs is itself a skill to be learned.
Fortunately, the very basics are pretty simple
and easy to discover.  And the more you learn the
easier it gets.  And the more you can (and will)
end up helping others with their problems.

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