Re: Debian DSELECT
On Mon, 14 Sep 1998, Kent West wrote:
> At 09:55 PM 9/13/1998 +0100, you wrote:
> >>>>>> "Martin" == Martin Schulze <joey@finlandia.Infodrom.North.DE> writes:
> >Martin> X-Mailer: Mutt 0.93.2i
> >Joris> 2. D O C U M E N T A T I O N ( why all these cryptic files and no real
> >Joris> database ??? HTML yes?)
> >There are manpages, which are often quite good help if all you need is a
> >summary and a reminder of what things do. From all the Linux distributions,
> >Debian has the best man-db setup.
> >There are the GNU Info files. There are numerous documents written in
> >postscript, there are the books from O'Reilly and you have the Debian
> >documentation project.
> >One of the strong points of a Linux based system is that there is so much
> >documentation about.
> I can certainly understand Joris' frustrations. As a newbie to both Unix
> and Linux (yet very well-versed in the DOS/Windows world), I find the
> learning curve of Debian to be quite steep. When I go looking for
> documentation to try and solve a problem, it's true that I find quite a bit
> available; the problem is that it's written in a style that is very
> difficult for me to wade through. Typically I come away from a three-hour
> documentation-reading session having gained nothing. I've often thought
> about contributing to the documentation projects, yet until I understand
> how the thing works, I can't write about it. And so far, a couple of months
> into Linux, I'm next to clueless about how anything works.
I have to agree with this one. I'm a techie from the DOS world who's been
working with Linux for about a year, and the curve is steep indeed. In
addition to being a techie myself, I've done tech support one way or
another for many years. So I can also see a user's perspective. It's very
true that the docs are written for someone who already has some knowledge
of the area. This is understandable, considering the background from
whence most of the man pages come-- the university Unix world. BUT, with
the rising popularity of Linux, it would be good to provide documentation
more for the "green" user. I, too, have thought of contributing to the doc
projects, but like Kent, I know too little to do much of value. Perhaps
when I know more, I'll contribute.
Paul M. Foster