EmacsMovies Looks at Gnus—Part 2

Noufal Ibrahim has part 2 of his series on Gnus up. The screencast is about 30 minutes so he broke it into two videos. As with part 1, the screen is too small to be read comfortably, even on my 27-inch iMac, so I used one of the alternative files from his Archive Page instead. The h.264 worked well for me; it streamed as normal and I could blow it up to full screen so that I could see Ibrahim's Emacs screen easily.

Gnus is just too large and complicated to try to learn from a video so I approached the screencast as an exposition of the things that Gnus can do and why you might want to invest time in learning it. If you're still using Net News and are looking for a single system that can read it, your email, RSS feeds, and probably anything similar with a consistent interface, Gnus is worth looking at.

That—to me—is the value of Ibrahim's series on Gnus: you get a feeling for what it can do and what the work flow looks like. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. I'm not sure I'll become a Gnus user but at least my decision will be an informed one.

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  • Memnon

    [screencast as an exposition of what gnus can do]
    Great. The screencasts are fun to watch, but they expose the viewer to some keybindings which are convenient, but not essential to learn. E.g.: Switching between Summary and Article buffer with `h'? Sure, that works, but so does emacs default "C-x o". Jumping to a certain article? Incremental search works for navigation in gnus as well as everywhere else. Gnus take some time getting used to, but I find it an essential part of my everyday computing.

  • You nailed it. It's very hard to decide what to put in and leave out of a Gnus screencast. The flexibility is fractal and Gnus is almost as customisable as Emacs itself.

    In the end, I just decided to describe my own usage and all the keys I personally use on a day to day basis. I don't use C-x o mostly because I'm somewhat relaxed while reading email and use only one hand. However, if you set `gnus-widen-article-window` to `t` and then use `h`, you can see a different kind of behaviour which might be more useful.

  • Apropos `h`, in my own case, I have a bbdb buffer at the bottom so using C-x o includes that in the list of windows cycled through which is annoying. I think that's why I started using `h` instead of C-x o (although these days, it's just muscle memory).

  • Memnon

    Hey Noufal Ibrahim :)

    Muscle memory and habits are a very personal thing, people
    are well aware of that fact, and my comment wasn't meant to
    be negative criticism.
    Actually, to see other peoples habits and setup is the main
    reason I am watching screencasts, so for me it was just perfect,
    I'll probably use `h' more often from this point on. :)

    For anybody considering gnus, all I want to say is:
    Just go ahead and try it, you need very little to get started,
    don't feel intimidated, you'll get the hang of it in no time.

  • I didn't take it as negative criticism. I was trying to figure out the reason why they added such a simple thing which could be done with C-x o. Thanks!