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Re: Authorship

Arright.  Enough talking about me as if I'm not here.

I did a bit of editing last night/today.  On the plus side, I'm including
images.  On the minus side, I've sent a query to the CVS people to
figure out how we'll update from there, along with a few other
questions.  The LinuxDoc stuff has been ditched.  Some errors that
were really pebkacs (problem exists between keyboard and chair) have been
looked at and fixed.  I find it strange that LyX is being blamed for
what are really logic or spelling errors.

Let's be honest here.  Not everyone is proficient at Emacs or SGML.  Not
everyone wants to boot into Windows to edit a document, then go back into
Linux to make sure that what they wrote it right.  My work machine doesn't
even have Windows installed.  I've been proving to anyone that will listen
that Linux works just fine in a Windows-based office, and I'm not
about to change that just so I can run WordPerfect.

I dismissed WordPerfect for two reasons:
1)  The Linux version has no SGML capabilities according to others
on this list.
2)  I tried the SGML mode on the Windows version and got nowhere.  The
documentation is seriously lacking, and when there is some, it talks about
I found those perfectly valid reasons to dismiss WordPerfect.  Until now,
there has been noone to counter my claims.  I'll be happy to document
using the Windows version as long as there are instructions on loading,
editing, and saving an SGML document.  Hand waving of "it works" can't be
accepted.  To be fair, I've done the same with LyX and PSGML and other
tools as I get information from readers or test it out myself.

My other problem is lack of information from the LDP heirarchy.  Perhaps I'm
not reading my e-mails enough.  I don't know.  The last I heard about
mini-HOWTOs was that they'd be accepted in SGML or HTML.  I was never
informed that the minis are being converted into full HOWTOs.  I'd like
to request that the powers-that-be explicitly cc: me for any policy
changes so I can quickly document them and clear any confusion.

Pal Domokos wrote:
> Hi Gary and everybody,
> Just a couple of notes to the main points (>> is Gary's, >>> is Pal's):
> I was talking about potential HOWTO authors. You are talking about potential
> HOWTO readers.

The HOWTO-HOWTO has to make a few assumptions:

1)  The reader knows Linux (regular HOWTO authors do not have this assumption)
2)  The author doesn't know much about SGML or the tools to create SGML.
3)  *big assumption*  The author wants to use Linux - meaning a
large preference towards open-source or Linux-based tools.

Based on the target audience I'm talking to, I think these assumptions are
valid ones.

> >The biggest weakness of the HOWTO-HOWTO, besides being out-of-date when
> >it was written, is the shotgun approach to listing everything in sight. For
> >instance, sgmltools is listed and there's nothing that tells you it works
> mostly
> >with LinuxDoc. I'm not recommending these tools, but simply saying which
> work
> >well together.

Personally, I find the "out of date when it was written" to be an insult.
> Quote from your HOWTO-HOWTO:
> "WordPerfect 9
> Recommended for those with money and a multi-boot machine including Windows"
> My English is far from being purrfict but it looks like a recommendation to
> me.

Agreed.  I list it now as Optional.

> >Provincial. We should list anything that works, with pros and cons. If
> >something is better than open source tools, then open source tools should
> look into
> >upgrading their tools. The FSF isn't about provincialism, it's about
> >sharing the best information about programming we can find.

We are listing anything that works.  The issue is that there is very little
that works.  There's even less that's open source/affordable by non-pros.
> >Linux is not going to win the battle of the OSs because you or we support
> it.
> >It's going to win because it's best and the tools available for it are best.
> >It won't get best by being provincial.
> Perhaps I was not precise enough here. Give me another chance to explain it:
> HOWTOs are about how to do something on Linux. It is possible (and, in some
> cases, absolutely sure) that a certain task can be accomplished more quickly,
> or more
> easily, or more anything on a different OS, say Windows. However, a Linux
> will only cover the topic on Linux. Windows users will not turn to a Linux
> HOWTO if they have a problem.
> The HOWTO-HOWTO is also a HOWTO, although a special one. It is not about
> "sharing the best information about" writing in DocBook. It is Linux-oriented,
> or,
> if you like, Linux-biased.
> This is what I meant by "we are doing Linux here".
> Is this provincialism?

Hence the assumptions I made above.
> We agree on one thing: the HOWTO-HOWTO should be better (bigger). Mark did a
> pretty
> good job to write it in the first place but things got more complicated
> with DocBook.

Things got complicated because many of the tools had to change.  We're
smack in the middle of the crossover from LinuxDoc to DocBook.  Authors
are everywhere trying to figure out what tools to install, how to use
them, and what all these new tags are.  I'm trying, but I'm like the
teacher that has to learn all about organic chemistry the day
before you teach it in class.

I'm not an expert in SGML or DocBook, nor did I ever claim I was.  My history
section has said from the beginning:

This document was started on Aug 26, 1999 by Mark F. Komarinski after two day's 
worth of frustration getting tools to work. If even one LDP author is helped
by this, then I did my job. 

I think I did my job.


Carlo Gavazzi IPC     | Mark F. Komarinski, RHCE - Compat. Engineer|
176 Second Ave        | markk@cgipc.com - www.cgipc.com            |
Waltham, MA 02451 USA | Ph: 781-266-1138  Fx: 781-290-4810         |

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