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Re: Why not create packages?

Gary Lawrence Murphy wrote:
> >>>>> "D" == David Merrill <dcmerrill@mindspring.com> writes:
>     D> Does anyone know the FHS guideline? I just looked on their
>     D> website at the 2.0 version, but didn't even see /usr/doc
>     D> listed. Seemed strange; maybe it was temporary blindness or
>     D> something.
> I don't remember anything about it either.  It is also probably
> unreasonable to expect the majority of Linux users will want to
> install all the docs; unless you have a server accessed by many full
> users (telnet, X &c) the hit-count average per doc is likely to be
> very, very low.  Most LDP docs are throw-away items, guides to getting
> something to work which are only needed until the item works, and then
> are ignored.  Many deal with very esoteric topics of no use to the
> average user but critical to those who need them.

Hmmmm. I see your point.

> For this reason, man distros do not put LDP docs into the installed
> software but simply include them on a CD, typically in HTML only. For
> example, IIRC, RedHat puts only the HOWTOs on disk to appear on a
> machine as /mnt/cdrom/docs/HOWTO

Not on my RH6.2 box. I have all HOWTOs installed under /usr/doc/HOWTO,
and I find it extremely valuable to me. I have a bookmark set in my
browser to /usr/doc, and I can find what I need very quickly that way.
The default page that displays in Netscape on a newly installed RH box,
which is largely a RH blurb, includes a link to this directory also.

> It would seem to me to be more useful to resume discussions on
> producing an LDP CD with tools to help find documents, and to work
> diligently on the SGML sources to create cross-referencing between
> papers.  The resulting CD, suitable for mirroring on an intranet or
> website, would have a single root title page and a single (massive)
> index, with a composite table of contents.  Our value-add for the CD
> would be in creating the ldp.dsl (with Norm's website DTD?) to ensure
> a useful interface.

SGML sources are of course the core of the entire project, and
everything else is worthless without them. So, I agree that the
documentation itself must be our highest priority. Distribution and
accessibility comes in a close second, though, because if people can't
find what they need it may as well not be there.

A CD repository is not particularly attractive to me. I want my
documentation to stay as up to date as possible, with as little effort
from me as possible. I don't want to have to order a CD every few
months. Everything you say about a CD applies equally to a local (e.g.,
/usr/doc/HOWTO) copy.

David C. Merrill, Ph.D.

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