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Re: [OT] improving the mailing lists WAS: Re: Debian VPN

On Wed, 4 Feb 2009 13:06:31 -0600
"Stackpole, Chris" <CStackpole@barbnet.com> wrote:

> The reaction I was going for is not the one I was wanting. That tells me that I wrote my response improperly. I apologize; my fault.
> More to the subject, let me try to explain my view. Please feel free to comment.

Please wrap your lines, as per the code of conduct:



> Thanks partially to Google we are at a point where you can find anything on the internet, /if/ you know where and how to look. However, finding someone to help you sort through the mass information is almost priceless. The best way for me to explain is through my own experience. If you Google 'Linux cluster' you are going to find a ton of information out there. If you know nothing about Linux clusters, just jumping in is quite the shock. There are many types of clusters on many types of hardware on many types of Distros. I am far from an Guru as there are many others that know _much_ more then I, but I love experimenting and working with clusters and probably have more experience with clusters then most people ever want to have. On the flip side, if you had asked me a few months ago to explain in detail everything I know about LDAP authentication I would have just looked at you and shook my head. Google offered TONS of data on the subject but by asking around I found someone who did have experience and he gave me a bunch of docs that were much more helpful to me then what I had found on Google. 

My experience is that for almost any reasonably mainstream topic,
Google works just fine.  On the contrary, when the number of hits is
huge, this usually indicates that the topic is heavily discussed and
that excellent informations is probably out there.  Google is generally
efficient enough that the first page of hits will include useful
resources, and ten minutes of reading will go far toward giving one a
basic grounding in the subject, eliminating that feeling of being
overwhelmed, and bringing one to a point of feeling somewhat comfortable
with the topic and possessing some idea of where to go next.

Your example of LDAP, OTOH, is an interesting one.  I've tried more
than once to grok LDAP, and given up in bafflement.  I can't quite tell
if it's inherently just overkill for my needs, or if my Google-fu is
just insufficient to find a basic introduction to the system.  [I'd be
using it on my personal systems, to share contact information between
different application and perhaps across several systems.]  Every
introduction I've seen involves creating from scratch complicated
schema and doing quite a bit of planning and writing of files.  This
may be unavoidable, and LDAP may indeed be overkill for my minimal
needs, or I may have merely been unable to find the appropriate docs.
This supports your point that sometimes asking on the list might be
appropriate even for subjects that return many Google hits.

Just my $.02

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