Re: Old Computer Parts
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> On Mon, Feb 19, 2007 at 11:23:17AM +0100, Joe Hart wrote:
>> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
>> Hash: SHA1
>> Mirko Scurk wrote:
>>> Hans du Plooy wrote:
>>>> On Sun, 2007-02-18 at 22:02 +0100, Joe Hart wrote:
>>>> No matter how easy or difficult the question you ask, there will always
>>>> be some smartass who tell to you go RTFM (which is often a longer
>>>> sentence to type than the answer to your question).
>>> Sometimes user of that old documentation could be even misled.
>> That is one of the major problems that I have found as well. Even
>> Eric's homepage at http://www.catb.org/~esr/ is dated 18 Nov. 2005,
>> which by Linux standards is old. The Linux Documetation Project at
>> http://tldp.org/ has some very good articles, but quite a bit of their
>> information is from 2002. Needless to say, it is sometimes difficult to
>> determine which information applies. Trial and error are fine on a test
>> machine, but not on a production machine.
> Let's see. The developers develop something -- it could be a new tool,
> it could be new ways of using old tools, it could be imcompatible with
> what was there before. But unless it's documented, it's useless outside
> of a small circle of friends.
> So someone in the small circle of friends has to provide the primary
> documentation. This could be as little as comments in C code. In the
> 70's when Unix was starting up, with full source code available, it was
> said that the source code is the ultimate documentation. But I've
> always found source code to be mighty obscure without some information
> as to what it is *supposed* to do. Especially if there's millions of
> lines of the stuff.
> So come the second tier of documenters -- these are the ones who pore
> over the C code and the realease notes and the comments and try things
> out and generally mess about until they have the hang of it. What tye
> understand they write down, post on the web somewhere and hope someone
> can find it. If they're lucky they are organised in to some sort ot
> Linux dicumentation project, or Debian documentation project or
> something of the sort. If they are luckier they have contact with the
> authors of the original code -- if they haven't found a new interest or
> a new job or actually have the language skills to answer questions. If
> we are *really* lucky we'll find code writers who are also decent
> technical writers.
> Then there's the kob of organising all this documentation (which has
> holes of its own) into some structure that makes sense, into reference
> manuals that actually point the way to want you need to know. This is
> an intellectial activity on itself, and cannot adequately be automated.
> However good the search engines are, they only provide pointers to the
> raw material for this kind of reflective process.
> This stage leads to documentation that can be used by technically
> competent people to find information they need. except that the tortuous
> passage fro the original developers pretty well ensures that some of it
> has become lost along the way.
> Finally, there is documentation for beginners -- the how-to's that tell
> them how to do something, provided they have already figured out what it
> is they need to to and where to find the how-to. Which probably means
> they are no longer real beginners.
> And, yes, I suppose we still need something for the *real* beginners.
> Imagine if documentation could go through all these stages and still be
> up-to-date! What a wonderful world that could be!
> -- hendrik
Point taken. I couldn't help laughing about the howto's. You're spot
on. One of the reasons I switched to Debian from Kubuntu was the
documentation. I found out that if I wanted to know how the system
worked I had to read the Debian docs. I figured, if Debian is the group
developing all the stuff, why should I run an offshoot that changes the
original design and adds 'beginner friendly' content.
The whole point for me getting away from Windows is I didn't like it
doing things behind my back that I had no idea what they were.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----