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Re: Bug#128852: doc-linux-text: Suggested addition to package: rank newbie pointers

On Fri, Jan 11, 2002 at 06:37:36PM -0700, Chris Tillman wrote:
> I was discussing bash's response of 'command not found' in bug 106170
> with Matthias Klose and Matt Zimmerman. My idea was that bash could
> make a reference to dhelp to give new users a place to start when they
> are just beginning. But dhelp is not installed as standard.
> Matthias' suggestion was even better, I think: point to a text
> document somewhere that gives a lottle bootstrapping information for
> users just getting their feet wet in *nix.
> Since doc-linux-text is installed by default in new installations, and
> since this qualifies as linux doc (text), I think it should go in your
> package. 

I figured I ought to run this past debian-doc first. Is doc-linux-text
the right place for this? The obvious alternative is doc-debian. I'm not
necessarily opposed to this proposal (nor am I trying to get rid of a
bug without doing anything!), but doc-linux's remit is to provide the
documentation from the Linux Documentation Project, not to be a general
repository for system documentation, and I would like some wider
discussion before extending this too much.

Also note that your documentation would be equally useful for new Debian
GNU/Hurd (and possibly Debian GNU/BSD in the future?) users, although at
the moment such new users are likely to be fairly technically competent

> /usr/share/doc/doc-linux-text/README-commands.txt
>    This is a jumping-off reference point for new users who may be
>    completely unfamiliar with Linux commands. It does not contain all
>    the information you need about using the Linux console, but instead
>    just gives you enough information to get started finding the
>    information you need.

Are you sure that all this wouldn't fit better in a proper HOWTO or
mini-HOWTO? The existing getting-started-type documents are slightly
less of an introduction from scratch than this, true, but that's not to
say that an even more newbie-friendly document like this in the LDP
collection would be a bad idea: imagine the Debian-Introduction
mini-HOWTO, for example. I would then be happy to refer to that
specially from /usr/share/doc/doc-linux-text/README.Debian, and you'd
still have the document installed by default.

>    info [subject]
>           A lot of Debian Linux documentation

Pet peeve: I think our documentation should generally use the correct
name for the distribution, i.e. "Debian GNU/Linux".

> (I think it would be better to add a shell script named something like
> helpcmds instead of making the user type this.

doc-linux currently includes no binaries or scripts, but I suppose
/usr/bin/debian-intro or something would be possible. Comments?

I think this is a good document, and that it would be useful to have
installed on standard systems. I'm just not entirely sure what the right
place for it is.

To debian-doc: please copy all followups to bug #128852.


Colin Watson                                  [cjwatson@flatline.org.uk]

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