FYI - Command Line Programs for the Blind

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Thu Apr 14 18:01:27 UTC 2022

Kyle, I'm very glad to know that a Linux user with your level of 
knowledge can still say that Emacs and Mutt have steeper learning curves 
than you find worth the trouble.  (Correct me if I've oversimplified 
your view.) As it happens, I've decided to try again with both Emacs and 
Emacspeak, and possibly Mutt, but now I don't feel like such a dummy for 
having had trouble with this software in my early and even later days 
with Linux.



On 4/13/22 19:34, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> These debates can be both informative and useful for those new to linux
>> who haven't made their choices yet.
> Unfortunately I would say probably not. Usually in situations like 
> this, once someone trying to make a choice to come to Linux or to stay 
> where they are sees all this get lost in a shell and hand-edit config 
> file kind of stuff, they usually run away before they get stuck in the 
> quicksand. Or worse, they end up tossing the virtual machine someone 
> told them to try into the recycle bin because it is just too hard to 
> use. Of course this also applies when new users are trying to find out 
> what applications are available for this or that and they are told of 
> EMACS, Mutt, Vim and the finer points of what people affectionately 
> call "links the chain" and "lynx the cat" vs w3m with all their 
> quirks, or having to learn how to get startx to play nice so that they 
> can run a more capable browser like the Firefox, Google Chrome or 
> Brave that they are used to using, that is not only more comfortable, 
> but is necessary on today's web, when all they had to do was to run a 
> live iso of a ready-made distribution with a fairly modern desktop on 
> it and they could be right at home in minutes. If someone asks me 
> about this Linux thing they heard about, I like to tell them about 
> what they can have up and running and feel fairly comfortable using in 
> about 30 minutes or less, and if they like that, great. Then if they 
> want to learn more about the power user stuff they can do, then and 
> only then would I even mention a terminal, a shell or terminal 
> applications. I probably still wouldn't say too much about EMACS or 
> Mutt other than their availability though, since even though I've been 
> using various Linux distros for almost 20 years, started of all things 
> on Slackware, and even ran a home web and email server fairly early 
> on, even I gave up on both of those because of the steep learning 
> curve involved in just getting past the initial setup process. Even 
> now, even though I still have my own mail and web servers, I still 
> tend to use things like ISPConfig for my server administration, since 
> although the web server is very easy to set up, deploying a mailbox on 
> a virtual domain is still not for the faint of heart, unless it has an 
> automated script like what comes in most web-based control panels that 
> makes it much easier to set up. I mean if not for the craziness 
> involved in setting up a mail server with 3 or 4 mailboxes on 2 to 3 
> domains, I would just run caddyserver for my websites, which can do a 
> lot really easily, and the caddyfile is very easy to understand and 
> edit, although like most other web servers, it doesn't support 
> .htaccess, which does lots of per site URL rewriting and custom error 
> stuff that just isn't as easy to do on a per-site basis in other ways 
> supported by non-htaccess servers. Still in any case, one point I 
> really like to make is that although other operating systems tend to 
> take features away from users, Linux tends to add features to desktop 
> environments and applications, or just to add applications, all while 
> taking care not to take things away from power users, and even adds 
> things that make the power user experience better over time.
> Sure I know this list is a general one, aimed at users of all levels 
> and skillsets. But being a more generalized list, it's probably better 
> to keep things on a more general level that while not excluding power 
> users, won't make new users turn tail and run for the window either. 
> This is the beauty of the GNU/Linux landscape as a whole. It's not the 
> wilderness, and it's not a barren wasteland either. It's a whole world 
> with enough freedom and even comfort for everyone. I found long ago 
> that it is not the geeky OS that only a server admin or someone with a 
> masters in computer science could love, and I do enjoy letting the 
> world know that I use it and they can too.
> ~Kyle
> _______________________________________________
> Blinux-list mailing list
> Blinux-list at

More information about the Blinux-list mailing list