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Re: Next #d-women forum; topics anyone?

Sorry, sent the mail to the sender only insted of the list.

Am Dienstag, 28.12.04 um 10:54 Uhr schrieb Luk Claes:

What do you think about the Debian Reference in package debian-reference
or on http://www.nl.debian.org/doc/user-manuals#quick-reference? All
suggestions or comments are welcome.

Good idea, but the listed docs sometimes lack to be very helpful. For those, that have translations, it should be easy to find out how old the translated version is, and which one is the original text (the english one, the spanish or whatever)

- The first one - Meta - is out of date and not ready since years. No links in the html version.

- The second one - Debian GNU/LINUX FAQ - is partly out of date (How do I upgrade to libc6? How do I create boot _floppies_) but still useful and available as debian package.

- The third on is the installation manual - I did not test it as I had it not available in printed version, when trying to make my first plain install of Debian 3.0. Good idea would be a printer friendly version of it. How can one read the installation manual, if the computer is still uninstalled? Plain text versions have been okay, when I installed my first debian (0.9x?). But nowadays?

- The fourth one are the release notes. Nothing to say about.

- The fifth - should be the first one - is the Debian Reference Manual. It could have some more content, but is nearly up-to-date. With my lilo/grub problem having two Debian installations on one computer, it would not have helped much though. pdf is available.

- The sixth on is the apt-HOWTO. This one seems to be in a good shape and it has a pdf version.

- The seventh is the dselect manual. Would a beginner, whom the document is addressed to know, how to execute the daily find cron job? And since years nothing does tell me the order matrix for o and O. Will I have to look into the source code to find it out? Was not that difficult with debian 1.1 but with more than 8000 packages? Dselect is still my choice as I have more problems with aptitude, but it still lacks a good manual.

- The eighth on is a Debian version of the Progeny Linux User manual. Available as pdf, but not translated. I had a look into it for the example of printer installation. But that would not have helped me: "use this or that GUI under KDE/Gnome". Neither would I be able to learn to use cups nor would it help me much with my lprng and printcap. Not to talk about sound installation, another usual problem.

- The ninth - Debian Tutorial - says, it is out of date

- The tenth - Guide to Installation and Usage - says, it is for potato - out of date, too.

I think, I'll stop here, as there are some more in the list.

Let us com to the essential questions:
- Does one of the docs answer essential daily questions?
- Which one to take for what purpose?
- How up-to- date are they really?
- How can I search those docs, if one covers my problem?
- Which are highly recommended?

When I installed my first debian, there was only one manual (for the installation), which was quite useful. But that one vanished in later releases. Now there are many more manuals, but seems the work on them is worse coordinated than a few years ago. So one needs a guide through those docs to find the right one. And that is much more needed as the only very good book, I have found about Debian is no longer written by Ganten and lacks some correctness in the new version (the old is not printed any longer).

The page will not help the users through the jungle. But it may help those willingly to direct others through the jungle.

But things are not as bad as they seem after that what I have written: Debian still has a high usability. Most of the essential packages are in a very good shape, so that there are not too often problems, we need to find documentation about. But if, oh, oh! Manpage empty, --help does not help, nothing helpful in /usr/share/doc/programname/ ... And how the hell do I find out, which manpage to call to get the video drivers to be used by X?




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