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Re: Debian documentation


On Sat, 22 Feb 1997, Susan G. Kleinmann wrote:

> I had sent this in to debian-user in response to a request to break up
> the voluminous debian-user mailing list into lists on various topics:
> >I'm thinking about working on the FAQ this weekend, and one thing I'd
> >like to do is to break it up into at least two parts:
> >--one which is general, and 
> >--one which focusses only on dselect and dpkg.
> >Of course, we could break it up further.  For example, we could have 
> >--an FAQ on installation and booting, and 
> >--an FAQ on using the Debian archives.  
> >--an FAQ on other Debian utilities or Debian practices.
> >--an FAQ on printing and text utilities
> >--an FAQ on TCP/IP problems, including PPP.
> >From my posts on other lists, one would also conclude that I believe
> >we also need
> >--an FAQ on package development.

That's a good idea. The FAQ is a bit large now :-)

Anyways, why are these all FAQ's? It would be nice to have some "HOWTO's"
on these items.

> >An argument could be made that it might be a good idea to have user 
> >lists that were broken up along the same lines as the FAQs.
> Not many people responded to this but those who did seemd to favor it.

Do you really think this would make traffic smaller/more manageable? Most
people want know where to post anyways and we'll get the problem of

I don't read debian-user regularly but about once a week I have a look at
what people post there. This would take more time when lists are split up
and some discussions spread out over several lists. (I'm thinking about
the splitting of the comp.os.linux.* news groups and how people post
there--but of course, traffic's much higher there.)

> ============================
> The bottom line:
> 1.  There seems to be good agreement that our current documentation
> set needs to be both broken up and enlarged in scope, and there
> seem to be a number of folk who are willing to help.


> 2.  Christian's call for a mailing list specifically to deal
> with Debian documentation seems like an efficient way to begin dealing
> with this.  However, it might be a good idea for this group
> to report to debian-devel (and then possibly disband as a separate mailing 
> list) after some preliminary ideas have been sketched out.  So how does 
> this happen?

I'm currently thinking about how we can structure our policies and what
documents are missing. Perhaps we should doing some brain storming on that
and write some overall "table of contents" where we have all available
docs in it, as well as nice-to-have documents. This would best be done by
a small group of, say 2-5 people. When they have a first list set up this
could be used as a starting point of a discussion here on this list. When
things have settled down we could check who takes which job and proceed
with the "detail discussion" on a mailing lists, say debian-doc.

It would be nice if we could improve the docs until 1.3. (I don't think
the code-freeze is a limit for new documentation :-)

> 3.  I'd like to get some more feedback on my idea that if/when a 
> better documentation structure is devised, it might provide the natural 
> basis for restructuring the user (and possibly even the developer) 
> mailing lists.  _Please_?

It seams to me as people have different opinions of splitting up

I asked for the list of available mailing lists yesterday and got several
replies. I didn't know there were so many mailing lists and it seams as
I've missed some announcements when new lists where created.

And if all developers have to follow all lists, we wouldn't get much out
of splitting the lists.

But on the other hand there are several things that could easily split up.
We should create two "sets" of lists: one which should be read by every
developer (announce, changes, devel-changes, bugs, debian-devel, etc.) and
one with specialized lists that covers topics that are only intresting for
a few developers (since they cover the "gory details"). I'm thinking of
debian-publicity, debian-doc, debian-admintool. 



- --                  Christian Schwarz
                     schwarz@monet.m.isar.de, schwarz@debian.org,
Debian is looking     schwarz@mathematik.tu-muenchen.de, bm955877@muenchen.org
for a logo! Have a
look at our drafts     PGP-fp: 8F 61 EB 6D CF 23 CA D7  34 05 14 5C C8 DC 22 BA
at    http://fatman.mathematik.tu-muenchen.de/~schwarz/debian-logo/

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