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> GNU Emacs is self-documenting.

Sure, if you're extremely comfortable reading emacs lisp spread across many files.

Just like Spanish doesn't need a dictionary, since it's self-defining once you move to Spain, and spend three months learning it via the total immersion method.

I was going to counter this with "that's what 'M-x apropox <thing>' is for", then I remembered that around a third of the time that's the lead in to me diving into the source.

That said, the other 2/3 of the time Emacs does relatively well at self-documenting.

Self-documenting or not, I think the point stands, the standard stuff is very well documented via many means (a nice tutorial, a very comprehensive manual, an emacs lisp tutorial and an emacs lisp reference all ship with Emacs in addition to things like describe-function, describe-key, describe-variable etc.), so the role of the Wiki is to supplement those and not replace them.

The catch-22 is that I had no idea that any of those things existed until I checked the wiki.

(Actually, my friends told me.)

Really? The splash screen (literally the first thing that appears when you first run Emacs) has links to 3 key pieces of documentation: 2 tutorials and the reference manual, which is surprisingly comprehensive. It would be really hard for them to be more upfront about the documentation.

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