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Re: Navigation, was Re: Idea : common dir and tree

Dan Scott wrote:
> and each of these directories typically has its own distinct structure of
> subdirectories. Note the obsessive use of abbreviations and avoidance of
> capital letters; this is a system invented by people to whom repetitive stress
> disorder is what black lung is to miners. Long names get worn down to
> three-letter nubbins, like stones smoothed by a river."

I was once told the abbreviations was due to the noise each character
caused on the teletypes they used in the early days of Unix. This of
course suggests DEC used silent teletypes for making VMS or deaf

> So, yes, perhaps capitalizing the first letter of each directory would make it
> a bit easier for new users to find the directory they're looking for,
> particularly if they had to wade through screens full of names: but for the
> LDP documents we're only talking about 7 file or directory names (00-index,
> index.html, html, pdf, ps, sgml, and text). And then we're structuring

Not quite. We have all the web pages of the LDP website which includes
copyright, manifesto, list of contributors, pointers to translations,
lists of documents sorted according to numerous criteria and more. The
webmaster knows how many there are but it is clearly much more than a
screenful of files.

> our docs in a way that doesn't reflect the structure of the majority (okay, I
> don't have hard numbers to back me up) of the operating system that these new
> users are trying to become familiar with. I think we would be better off
> sticking to Unix traditions and include a pointer to Stephenson's document for
> those who want an explanation--maybe in the index.html file?

Scanning through an old Redhat machine here I see in /usr/doc we
already have FAQ/ HOWTO/ HTML/ and LDP/ and a scan in /usr/lib
shows 76 directory names with uppercase letters.

The terseness remains but people seem to have found the shift key
to be rather noiseless.

A pointer to Stephenson's document would leave many people in the
dark and promotional sites are notorious for continuous reorganizing
of web pages. It would be slightly better to get permission to
copy it and put it in the proposed auxilliary library. Bruce Sterling
has alwys been liberal in his copyrights, perhaps Stephenson might
be so too. Cyberpunk in the early 80's was a movement a little bit
like the Linux movement in the early 90's...

While this might seen quite tangential we should keep in mind that
this could lighten up the boring image of the LDP.

   Stein Gjoen

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