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Re: Re^2: dhelp directory structure

Just to throw my own two cents in.

On Mon, Apr 13, 1998 at 08:18:00PM +0100, Marco Budde wrote:
> Am 13.04.98 schrieb schwarz # monet.m.isar.de ...
> CS> I don't like it :) The structure looks like it's based mostly on our
> CS> archive structure, but this structure is less than intuitive (at least,
> CS> for me, but I've heard this from a lot of users too).
> Well, the structure is not the problem. But some developers have choosen  
> the wrong diretory for their program.

From this vantage point, it seems to me that Christian is looking more for
a way of indexing documents (why would someone be looking for this document?),
while Marco is looking more for a way of arranging them (which order should
I put these documents in for ease of browsing?).

I'm not really familiar with the whole dwww/dhelp thing, though, so I could
be way off track here -- I only found out about them coz they helped me make
a point in an argument about manpages :)

Anyway, I think I'd find Christian's viewpoint more useful: so I could setup
my system with English as the default language, then if I wanted to know how
to setup IP masq, I could choose something like:

	Debian Development
	Day to Day Use
	System Administration ----> User Administration
                              |     Filesystem Management
                              V     Device Management
                      Using PPP
                      Using SLIP
                      Using ISDN
                      Using Cable-modems
                      Routing -------------> IP Masq Howto
                                             ipfwadm manpage
                                             route manpage

If you're not sure what you're looking for (and IMHO that's our target
here -- people who don't yet know what they're doing), following some
generic categories like that is a good way of finding things. Some
explanation of what the categories *mean* might be useful.

The alternative when you're looking for information on IP masq currently
is to search for random keywords; which is *great* when you know what you're
looking from, but when you want ``something that let's me connect my windows
computer to the Internet via my Linux computer'', that's not quite so 

I'd be partly inclined to have two different executables (or menu options
or whatever), "browsedocs", say, that would open up a list of sections like
the above, and "searchdocs" that would bring up something more like dwww's
current display. (dhelp is, at the moment, something of a hybrid, it seems
to me)

> [...] we have support for  
> other languages. So you have to walk to 5 or more directories in worst  
> cases.

I'd expect something like a system wide default language and then a choice
box to choose a different language if desired, rather than having to 
choose a language explicitly for each document. Is this possible?

> CS>  - in some places it's hard to determine the correct section of a
> CS>    manual--I'd prefer to put such manuals in several sections
> No, please not. This is very confusing for the user. In some cases you  
> could create an own root directory.

In the indexing scheme, having the same document referenced from multiple
places is perfectly natural -- dselect information would be usefully
indexed under both "administration" and "installation" (while the boot-
floppies install procedure would only come under the latter, for example);
the FSSTND would be included under both "Debian development" and 
"administration", and so forth.

If we can provide a well thought out set of `sections' to index documents
under, I think it would be *incredibly* useful.

A searching utility, and a by-package listing would then only need to be
used when you want to clarify points, much like the original purpose of

Apologies in advance for any misrepresentations or errors in the above.
I don't know my way around dwww, dhelp or doc-base very well at the 


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. PGP encrypted mail preferred.

      ``It's not a vision, or a fear. It's just a thought.''

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