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

Re: DDP vs LDP -- should be DDP + LDP

On 15 Nov 1998, Adam Di Carlo wrote:
> But I do agree with him that the following documents should be
> *scrapped* and effort directed towards improving the LDP where
> necessary.  Or, if not scrapped, then written as if they were an
> appendix to the relevant LDP or existing FAQs, i.e., only supplying
> Debian-specific information.
>  Debian Tutorial
>  Debian User Reference Manual
>  Debian System Administrator's Manual
>  Debian Network Administrator's Manual
> I hope I'm not insulting anyone.  But I just think that these manuals
> are 90% non-Debian-specific, currently, and I think it's a mistake and
> a waste of our time to not work the wider community on these
> documents.
> Does anyone agree?

[I'm the tutorial maintainer]

The Debian Tutorial contains a lot of cut-and-paste from the LDP Linux
User's Manual. I talked with the User's Manual author (Larry Greenfield)
some about it. I sort of got the impression that he's not actively
maintaining the document. The files on Sunsite are still dated 1997.

The Tutorial improves on the User's Manual in some ways: 
 - all the examples are specific, and work unchanged on a stock
   Debian system. The User's Manual is often forced to do this 
   sort of hand-wavy "and then you do some distribution-specific
   thing..." bit. Most commercial books ship with a CD and 
   use that distro for the examples.
 - it has Debian/GNU propaganda thrown in
 - it is more up to date 
 - it is in SGML rather than LaTeX

Its disadvantages include not being quite as finished, though I've almost
caught up, I think... 

Working with LDP people would be fine with me, if any LDP people want to
work on it... we'd need a scheme IMO to basically #ifdef some regions of
the manual (#ifdef DEBIAN, #ifdef REDHAT). 

I am linking LDP stuff from within the tutorial, and they get prominent
mention near the beginning as another resource. 

One IMO major caveat to the LDP stuff is that the default LDP license does
not permit distribution of derived works. The User's Manual was an
exception (which is why I could make a derived work specific to Debian). 
Installation and Getting Started appears to be GPL, so that is an
exception too.  Anyway I strongly believe that our docs should permit
derived works. 

Since I hack Gnome a lot, I eventually (like in a year or so) want to have
a Debian Default Desktop for Newbies and some chapters in the tutorial
talking about that.  That's something that may be totally Debian-specific
and wouldn't go in an LDP manual. 

Besides the Tutorial, the important piece of documentation for newbies is
Linux Installation and Getting Started.  The problem with Linux
Installation and Getting Started from our point of view is that Debian
moves config files from "standard" locations, and the Debian install
section of LIGS is maintained separately from install.html. I'd think
making install.html into simply the Debian section of LIGS would make

The other problem is that installing and configuring Debian involves text
editing and other things covered in the tutorial, so LIGS ends up covering
a bunch of basic Unix concepts, so then you end up with a bunch of overlap
and it's kind of silly. I would like to see the installation part broken
out so it could simply be prepended to the tutorial, and then add a couple
of configuration chapters (X/ppp/ethernet, basically) in the relevant
places in the tutorial. Then you'd have a nice single document; someone
could print it out, keep it handy, install and start using Debian without
having to look elsewhere. 

But I don't really have that kind of time, so I am just trying to get the
tutorial part done eventually.


Reply to: