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Re: Informal survey (was Re: Banner ads)

On Sat, Oct 23, 1999 at 08:53:13PM -0400, Donnie Barnes wrote:
> > We must tell people where they can find good quality and free
> > documentation.
> We *must*?  Why?  Sure, RH needs "marketing" to sell "free" stuff, but

After the bad publicity we had this summer with slashdot &co articles,
many users are considering the LDP as an elistist club not responding to
requests or updates, offering 2 years old documentation, ...

> that's because we *sell* stuff.  A free software project shouldn't
> need to spend dollars (donated or otherwise) to more effectively give

Once again : We will not spend a single dollar of the LDP money to do
this. We will ask sponsors or do it with our own money.

> product worth having, everyone who needs it WILL find it.  Is this
> a new concept???

For the documentation? Definitively.

Compare the evolution of commercial books to free documentation, they're
more efficiant.

We keep "growing" thanks to linux exponential growth, but I think we're
failing somewhere.

We might have good quality documents, but the average user wants more
"newbie" guides, and topic-specific help we don't currently provide.
(just read the comments of slashdot articles)

> Okay, fine.  But chances are you'll already have LDP authors at each of
> the major conferences and you can do all that at zero expense.  If you
> must (I still say there's little point).


Who could go to LinuxExpo in Montreal (apr.) or in Paris (feb.)?
(just curious to know, it could be helpful to have more ppl at "zero

Could you spend some time to help us presenting the LDP?

> > We try to do whatever possible by ourselves, and use exterior help
> > only as the last possibility.
> Huh?  That's why we have a banner ad on the website, I guess.  :-(

And it will never happen again. We'll find other ways.

> You want "marketing"?  How about doing things like opening a dialog with
> the major distributions to build a generic help browser that includes the
> LDP docs indexed and such and presented to each new user when they log
> in?  Now *that* is marketing, but it's really just a technical issue.

This is what I call "indexing" ; C Polisher <cpolish@ns.net> is working
on that.

The help browser is a part of the project, but I'd prefer the index to
be ready first.

> >  - we can't impose it to authors who can't convert their docs
> Sure you can.  Simply make it a migration where you support both for
> a while and at the end just get some volunteers to convert those that
> haven't been converted yet.

Even if I might 'impose', I will *not* do that. We must all agree!

However, I like the volunteer idea.

Who could volunteer to help authors converting LinuxDoc to DocBook?
If >5, we could start this migration.

> *sigh*  I love to see a "leader" who can effectively present a problem
> *and* a complete argument for why it *can't* be solved all in the same
> breathe.  That's useful.

I prefer this to imposing DocBook to anyone, which would really upset
many authors.

We can't and we won't decide something that important without consulting
the authors.

We have already talked about DocBook, and a significant number of
authors didn't want to move to DocBook.

If we have a good solution to start the migration (like volunteers to
help converting docs.), we will discuss this again.

Guylhem Aznar, Linux Documentation Project: http://www.linuxdoc.org
PGP key: http://oeil.qc.ca/~guylhem ; Email: guylhem \@/ oeil.qc.ca
"They who can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin 

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