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

[I have snipped everything except the words I am replying to.]

2006/10/17, Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña <jfs@computer.org> wrote:
I think 'help' is by far the most common one ('?' might be close too).
Currently 'help' brings bash's help which might not be what a newbie
expected. Some (older?) people might even try pressing F1 and see what
happens [0].

In xterm my F1 key causes a beep. Perhaps there's a way to remap the
F1 key in bash and/or readline?

I remember back in 2000 providing a Debian package called 'ayuda' ('help', in
Spanish) developed by members of my local IEEE Student Branch.  This package
included just a simple shell script ('ayuda') and a number of text files.
When the script was called it would show up a dialog(1) menu a user could
navigate and use to access the manuals included. ...
I guess it would be nice to have something similar.

Interesting idea. But, since a) most people have web access nowadays
and b) people with no web access in a new Linux install can reboot
into Windows if they need web access, therefore I personally wouldn't
want to maintain such a package. Of course, you could get such a
script into Debian yourself (maybe in package debian-goodies or
elsewhere) if you wanted.

> What would be a good help text to offer when a user types a command that
> indicates he/she is a newbie? Also, what package should I file a
> wishlist against to request that such help be added?

Since there is no package providing that tool I would say 'general'. However,
filing bugs vs. general doesn't mean they will get fixed by themselves.  I
think that it would be much better if somebody sat down and wrote a "Debian
help" system that provided some Debian-specific things and integrated
properly with both gnome-help and khelpcenter.

Is more Debian-specific help really needed for KDE/Gnome users? IIRC
Synaptic comes with Gnome help files. Also, there are already lots of
HTML-format manuals for Debian.

[2] Bonus points if someone figures a way to l10n that 'help' call, since
non-english spearkers might write something different such as: 'ayuda',
'hilfe', 'aide', 'aiuto', 'ajuda', etc.

I really like that idea.


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