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Re: How can the OS autodetect that a user is a newbie and offer help?

On 2006-10-17, Goswin von Brederlow
<brederlo@informatik.uni-tuebingen.de> wrote:
> Anyway, the usual way to detect a newbie and give help to them seems
> to be to assume everyone a newbie and give little hints, startup tips,
> ... till they learn enough to turn them off. For examples see gimp or
> mc.
> PS: One of the hints better be how to turn the hints off. :)

Someone suggested to me off-list that perhaps all we need is to provide
a pointer to more newbie help in /etc/issue. Perhaps that would be the
easiest to implement, and the easiest for users to disable :-), no?

The disadvantage would be that users who have X Window plus KDM
already set up, or who SSH into a friend's machine, who need help with
linux commands in an xterm wouldn't see the message, but I assume that
is a rare case so just editing /etc/issue and /etc/issue.net is fine.

If the issue file were changed, what could go in it? I suggest:

* one link to a special webpage which points total newbies to
  newbie documentation and also gives newbie-level instructions on how
  to get technical support

* also, instructions how to view one offline-viewable Linux *tutorial*
  which is already installed - preferably a good one, but even the
  bad old intro(1) manpage if there is no good one.

Also, perhaps it'd be possible for the bash "help" command to display
those same two things in addition to the terse reference it already

What do you think?

The church is near but the road is icy; the bar is far away but I will
walk carefully.
                -- Russian Proverb 

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