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Re: Some technical suggestions

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On Mon, 8 Nov 1999, Stein Gjoen wrote:

>    =========
>  - local searching:
> Most new users learn of the "man -k keyword" type of searches
> which generally are fast and efficient. Yet this has the huge
> disadvantages in that it misses out completely on the entire
> LPD library. From reading newsgroups I get the feeling many
> use keyword searches without realising they are forgetting the
> LDP work. Redhat does admittedly include a search engine that
> scans most types of information sources but this could be done
> much simpler.

How about creating a search command e.g. "howdoi keyword", or "howto -k
keyword", and acts like man -k does, except it uses the howto documents. 

Could a command (howto?) perhaps be setup that presents the user with a
list of the howto documents, and links that they can click on, or select,
that takes them to that howto document. (A keyword search could also be

alias howto="lynx /usr/doc/howto/html/index.html"

could be added to the /etc/profile (and other shells' autoexec files) by
the vendor.

Maybe even a command like howto multidisk would fire up the multidisk
howto, (as could man howto multidisk?)

Maybe "howto -update" could check http://www.linuxdoc.org/updated.txt (or
similar) for files that have changed since the last time the files had
been downloaded, and then download the changed files. This would ensure
that the howto documents in circulation were kept up to date.

The format of the updated.txt file could be:

This could also update a file called update.howto on the local machine
that said when each file had last been updated.

> Someone has made an online Linux encyclopedia which I found
> very useful and comprehenive. The author stated he is not happy
> with its low visibility, so why not join forces and invite him
> and his "Pedia" on board? It already contains many links to HOWTOs
> so we should perhaps help by reciprocating. Check
>    http://members.aa.net/~swear/pedia/index.html

IMHO, I think the LDP should join together and link to all other linux
documentation projects. This could get confusing, tho. so the link could
only be added if it has unique content, an easier way of looking at
things, something that makes it worthwhile linking to. 
>    ==========
> I believe we need to add a SMALL text file into /etc/skel/ so all
> beginners get a starting point. How about this:

also, the line:
For information on how to get help, type "less help.txt"
could be added to the motd. That way people would notice the file, and
realise that they can use it to get help on getting help.
The LDP is there to help the newest of new users, and therefore, NO prior
knowledge can be assumed, we need to present the user with a quick, easily
remembered way of accessing the howto files, tell them about it, and
inform them of the LDP, what it does. The documentation is what keeps me
with Linux (rather than BSD*), so this 'selling' point should be 'sold' at
every opportunity, IMHO.

Also, could the LDP set up a mailing list that enabled users to send
questions or requests to help? I realise this could well be swamped
(perhaps moderated?), lots of the documentation I've read has said
something like for more help post to comp.linux.all-the-answers..., but I
don't read news, I never have, and lots of newbies probably won't either.
Or maybe we could work with lugs to provide this? (i.e. The ldp has a list
of lugs, each of which has been urged to set up a mailing list (if they
don't already have one), and the newbies are directed towards their local
one, shown details of how to subscribe to their list (via a web based
form?), and then they can ask for help from their lug. Perhaps one member
of each lug could report back to this list with a list of topics newbies
asked for help with, but that weren't covered by current howtos, or
explanations that frequently needed explaining.) 

.org domain for co-ordinating the worldwide lugs? Could LDP
help with this? The more the LDP does, (obviously the more the user will
benefit, but also) the more people will hear the LDP mentioned, and this
will increase their awareness of our presence.

Just my 0.02 (and the rest :), I apologise if some points have already
been brought up, and dismissed, or are currently in operation. 

If you'd like me to give coding an example "howto" program ago, let me
know, I don't think it'd be too hard in shell script.

- --               ,------------------------------,
.==================| S H U N  A N T I O N L I N E |=================.
| David M. Webster '------------------------------' (aka cogNiTioN) | 
|===| I use Linux everyday to up my productivity - so up yours! |===|
|=================|-| PGP KeyID: 0x 45 FA C2 83 |-|=================| 
| <cognition@bigfoot.com> |-|===========|-| http://www.cognite.net/ |
`===========| I walk to the beat of a different drummer |==========='

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