How Emacs can stop losing the non-techies who try Org - download page advice

Emacs has a giant normie-noob shaped hole in its intake funnel. The warnings against using Emacs on Windows on the download page are good, but not enough. Noobs need a positive recommendation of platform, and a practical one, not ideological. It should say something like:

"If you've never coded, then Emacs can be very difficult if approached wrong. Avoid Windows (unless you have someone to do your tech support). Use MacOS (or a user-friendly Linux such as Ubuntu Mint). Install Emacs with homebrew (on MacOS). Then install Spacemacs. Visit their chat channel if you need help. Run the tutorial. Learn Org mode. Become more productive!"

AFAIK Spacemacs is the only major consumer-oriented distro; the rest are aimed at devs.

Dev-noobs will stick with Emacs cuz they need it for various techie workflows and cuz competing tools are similarly arcane. But normie-noobs will bounce if they don't quickly see results from Org's PIM.

Endorsing MacOS violates the free software ethos. But realistically, normie-noobs shouldn't try Linux until they've learned Emacs. Emacs allows them to control the Linux environment. Until then, Apple can hold their hands. Apple is the gateway drug to *nixlikes. Getting them hooked on Emacs pretty much guarantees they'll try Linux. It's drug dealer marketing: the first hit is always free.

How does that metaphor apply, if Emacs is already free software? Because the cost of free software is the learning curve. Be as ruthless about extracting that price as Microsoft is about extracting theirs.

Publish At: Author:Cyberthal

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