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

On Tue, Oct 17, 2006 at 11:48:33PM -0400, Jason Spiro wrote:
> >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.

If you do a Debian install and, for some reason, don't get X configured you
don't want to tell people "reboot into Windows and look for help". I, for
example, don't have a Windows partition available.  As for the script, I
already provided it in Debian (5 years ago) but it was

a) Spanish-specific
b) not supported by a community

All that I'm saying is that it would be great to start a Debian community
project that was not language-specific and supported and get *that* into

> >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.

What I'm saying is that users using GNOME's help system or KDE's help system
cannot find a single bit of advice specific to Debian since *our* help system
(dwww/dhelp/doc-central) does not mesh in with theirs. So if a user (in
GNOME) goes to the task bar and selects 'Desktop->Help' he can, at most,
access the local manpages but there is no 'Debian' section there. 

Try running 'yelp', look at the topics and try searching for 'Debian'. You'll
see what I mean.  This is not GNOME-specific, BTW, IIRC the same happens with
KDE help center. I'm just saying that a Debian-specific help should be added
to both systems (and should provide the same contents).



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