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Re: [OT] OpenSource Documentation Fund

On Sat, 27 May 2000, John wrote:

> One thing that seems to be completely lacking, both in the LDP and
> currently published books, is a troubleshooting guide. For example, what if
> someone went through the newsgroups and compiled the most commonly asked
> questions ("The ppp daemon died unexpectedly -- what does that mean?") --
> and then did a step-by-step checklist for the user to go through. I sure
> wish I had been able to get my hands on something like that. Would have
> saved me a lot of frustration and a lot of my friends' time and effort.

It would be better to concentrate on improving the FAQs and making them
easily searchable. I love books. I have several shelves of computer books
and hundreds of other books, but paper format sucks for
searching. Checklists are hard to do, way too many branches. FAQs can
handle the same chore, but people need to get used to them. I think they
should. It's a modern method with definite advantages and society needs to
learn to work with it :).

BTW, just for the record, I'd like to be able to specify what area to
search in, e.g. HOWTOs, guides, FAQs, man pages or Linux Gazette. Actually
I think HOWTOs and guides should be lumped together for now. I'm looking
for distinctly different info in the HOWTOs and FAQs for instance.
Currently searches at the LDP seem to return tons of stuff from the Linux
Gazette that hides what I'm looking for in the other areas. Especially for
the LG it would be nice to be able to give a date range for the docs.

> The problem I found was that I would post a question in a newsgroup and
> people would respond by posting an URL to a document in the LDP. I would
> dutifully go to the URL, but the text was incomprehensible to me.
> Everything was written in Geekspeak. The authors assumed too much knowledge
> on the part of the reader, thus failing to define terms before using them.

That's another problem and we're working on it :). Send in bug
reports. I've got a couple going to the perl project next week ;-).


#  der.hans@LuftHans.com   home.pages.de/~lufthans/   www.OpNIX.com
# Knowledge is useless unless it's shared. - der.hans

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