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Re: Debian Book

[debian-doc is the correct list for this, I think; followups should go
 there. Though good documentation is certainly good for publicity. :-) ]

On Sun, 16 Aug 1998, Seth Turner wrote:
> I went and looked at the work in progress.  It is a lot of what I have
> in mind.  What are your plans as far as possible distribution with
> Debian?  Do you want toinclude your works with the distribution? 

Yep, it will be packaged for Debian. It has a free license.
> Do you have a list of works in progress?  Would be silly to
> simultaneously work on something that is already being worked on.  I
> would like to assist in any way possible. 

Well, basically it's in CVS on cvs.debian.org and the version there (also
found on the web site) is what currently exists. There are people working
on things (and I know about most of them :-) but their latest version
should be on the server. The only exception I can think of is a chapter on
programming and kernel compilation, there were two authors for that I
think and one was going to be away from the net for the summer.

If you want to work on something in particular just post to debian-doc and
say so, and try to send in your work every time you complete a useful page
or two. You can send the changes to me. It is also helpful to do editing,
or find newbies and try it out on them.
Please read the tutorial and the AUTHOR-INFO file before you start. In
particular be sure you are comfortable with the copyright terms.

> True the install.txt covers installation, however to a new user it could
> be a bit intimidating.  I realize it isn't necessary to get Debian or
> Linux onto every computer in the world, but wouldn't it be nice if it
> was put into "laymen's terms" so that perhaps a few of the people with a
> little less knowledge could use it?  Maybe it isn't the over all desire
> to have every Tom, Dick, and Harry using Linux, but let's not limit it
> to only power users.  >

The tutorial is explicitly aimed at newbies. It may not always succeed.

I guess a short installation chapter wouldn't hurt, perhaps based on
install.txt. We would need copyright permissions on install.txt from the
authors of that document.
> What about the idea of several small books each containing an in depth
> tutorial on how to use a package, what can be done with it etc.  I saw a
> book by O'Reillythat was written expressly for vi.  Imagine the amount
> of users that would be attracted to Debian simply because it's users
> were ready to go the extra mile and doccument just about anything that
> could be done.  Sure I realize there are HOWTOS and man pages, but
> honestly, don't you think they are a bit over technical?  Perhaps more
> of a here is what it does, how it does it, and a few good examples of
> how to use it approach would be in order. >

What I'm hoping to do with the tutorial is include enough of this kind of
material that beginning users can move on to the more technical material.
I want to cover all the basic terms and concepts to get people started.
> One thing that has been somewhat overwhelming to me as a new user is the
> number of different terms everyone uses.  Yeah I know it will be boring
> to set up a dictionary of Linux/Debian terms but I think it would also
> be helpful. :) Perhaps there is already such documentation.  

There's been some planning for a document like that. In the meantime the
index of the tutorial (when it exists - not sure it can be done in
DebianDoc) will hopefully be helpful. 
> Any ball park figures on cost?

Standard computer book price, I imagine. Around $30 depending on length. 

Of course you will be able to download the text/html version for free, or
print your own copy for the cost of paper. Purchasing the book just gives
you a nice binding and supports the FSF.
> happens.  (sorry for the soap box rally <g>)

No problem, it's hard to maintain morale for documentation writing and a
little cheerleading helps. :-)


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