[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Back to technical discussion? Yes! (was: network-manager as default? No!)

On 2011-04-04 17:31:18 +0400, Stanislav Maslovski wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 04, 2011 at 05:35:10PM +0530, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> > It seems to be a common belief between some developers that users should
> > have to read dozens of pages of documentation before attempting to do
> > anything.
> > 
> > I’m happy that not all of us share this elitist view of software. I
> > thought we were building the Universal Operating System, not the
> > Operating System for bearded gurus.
> I do not think that reading documentation before trying to achieve
> something is that elitist.

[About the general problem of documentation]
The problem is to find the correct tools and the correct documentation.
For instance, imagine the average user who wants for Ethernet (eth0),
to do the following automatically (for a laptop):
  1. use some fixed IP address if there's some peer
     with some given MAC address;
  2. otherwise, if an Ethernet cable is plugged in (and only in this
     case), start a DHCP client;
  3. make things still work after a suspend/resume.
I now know how to do this. But I still wonder what documentation a user
should read to achieve such a configuration. It is normal that a user
may want to use his laptop from network to network and things work
without manual reconfiguration.

> And in the case of wpa_supplicant, it is definitely not dozens of
> pages. Basically, it is just
> man interfaces
> man wpa_supplicant.conf
> zless /usr/share/doc/wpasupplicant/README.Debian.gz

How does the average user know that he would need to read these pages
and not others?

> (and for most cases just reading that README.Debian should be enough)

Yes, the README.Debian seems to give very good information. But users
used to man pages may not have the idea to look at this file.

I would have thought that users should look at HOWTO's first, but
those provided by Debian are obsolete (Networking-Overview-HOWTO
is more than 10 years old).

> The wireless networks in public locations are usually open and do not
> require any specific configuration; the most of them are catched with
> a simple roaming setup outlined in that README from above, supplanted
> with a default /e/n/interfaces stanza for DHCP-based networks. If one
> instead prefers using a GUI, then there is wpa_gui with which one may
> scan for networks, select the needed one, change parameters, etc.

The wpa_supplicant(8) man page mentions the CLI (wpa_cli), but
not the GUI! So, how would the average user know its existence?

Vincent Lefèvre <vincent@vinc17.net> - Web: <http://www.vinc17.net/>
100% accessible validated (X)HTML - Blog: <http://www.vinc17.net/blog/>
Work: CR INRIA - computer arithmetic / Arénaire project (LIP, ENS-Lyon)

Reply to: