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Re: What documentation and what order

On Tue, Oct 17, 2000 at 02:34:52PM -0500, David A. Rogers wrote:
> This sort of disconnected learning is only useful and fun if you are young and
> have no other obligations.  Once you have a wife, kids, and a yard to mow this
> becomes a less viable option.
> This is a problem I have with Linux in general - not just Debian.  To quote a
> friend of mine (who I think was quoting someone else): "Linux is only free if
> you set the value of your time at zero."
> I don't mind R'ingTFM.  I just want to know where to find the manual.  

welcome to the club. (the membership dues are exorbitant, aren't they?)

you'll find, as others have, that the more you beat your head on the
where's-the-documentation wall, the more your head begins to look like
a pancake. plus, almost slipping in under your conscious radar, you
actually DO start to learn where things are, and how to look for what
you want.

i'm from a mac background(!) and for US it's the worst reality-check of
all: no comprehensive interface, no top-down design from a centralized
authority -- it's all a collection of thirty years' worth of "hey,
how about like THIS..." the results are incredibly wide and varied, which
allows for personal preference and a broad array of tastes, but which
also makes it alarmingly difficult for the coddled newbie, like me, to find.

at first.

months later, i now know at least enough to feel productive:
	dpkg -L xyz
	dpkg -S xyz
	apt-cache search xyz
	apt-cache show xyz
	apropos xyz
	man xyz
	info xyz
(not necessarily in that order.)

i too had the same attitude you exhibit. i was a mite gasted in the
flabber regions that people could actually be actively USING such a
monstrously random hobbling-together of obscure-ified and obtusioned
documents and programs and packages and modules. how is it THEY
can find the answers and I can't?

i'd ask: "don't tell me the answer to this question, tell me instead
how you'd go about finding it..."

and i'm beginning to catch on. finally.

you will, too.

> I'd like to fill in the rest for Debian, I guess I'll have to blaze the trail.
> Please don't take this as a rant on you.  This sort of answer is common among
> the Linux community.

apple may take a bite out of the pie with its osX.
the folks at eazel are also working on it. as are
many others. we can either 1) wait for others and
follow their trail, or 2) blaze our own trail and
risk the mosquitoes, wolves, ice-cold rain and
even the occasional sunshine, on our own merit...


there are others who have suffered complexity-shock upon entering the
linux world, and who are trying their hand at improving the situation.
we had* a mr.lamb character, i think, who was entirely affronted by
how the email setups worked. after one of the most extensive flame
wars i've seen on this list he mentioned he'd begun a project of his
own at http://sourceforge.net/projects/aimsprototype/ . if you wanna see
how frustrated people can get, browse http://lists.debian.org/search.html
and search jul-sep for "linux mail client".

glad to have you with us!

[* we may still have him, but my procmail filters don't seem to like
him for some reason... namely, i blocked his petulence from my mbox
by hand. someday, i may relent.]

self-reference, n: see self-reference.

will@serensoft.com   ***   http://www.dontUthink.com/

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