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Re: [Re: Navigation, ...

On Fri, Jul 28, 2000 at 01:36:26AM -0700, David Lawyer wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 04:30:45PM -0400, Hal Burgiss wrote:
> > I wonder if each HOWTO (FAQ, etc) could have a 'KEYWORD' section,
> > maybe even behind a comment so it is invisible to the end user.
> > Then some clever soul could come with something like what
> > makewhatis is for man pages based on the keywords. Then something
> > like apropos to pull up a list of Docs that match. Even slicker to
> > output it into HTML or some other format where each Doc is
> > selectable from the generated list. Just thinking out loud ...
> > 
> > $ howto network
> > 
> > /usr/doc/HOWTO/Ethernet-HOWTO
> > /usr/doc/HOWTO/Intranet-Server-HOWTO
> > /usr/doc/HOWTO/mini/IP-Subnetworking
> > /usr/doc/HOWTO/mini/Netscape+Proxy
> > /usr/doc/HOWTO/mini/Proxy-ARP-Subnet
> > /usr/doc/HOWTO/mini/Netrom-Node
> > /usr/doc/HOWTO/mini/Netstation
> > /usr/doc/HOWTO/NET-3-HOWTO
> > /usr/doc/HOWTO/Networking-Overview-HOWTO
> > /usr/doc/HOWTO/Unix-Internet-Fundamentals-HOWTO
> > /usr/doc/HOWTO/NET3-4-HOWTO
> > 
> I can already get the above list by going to the howto directory (I
> type the alias "how") to do this and then:
> $ find . -iname "*net*"

Well I got it with 'locate HOWTO | grep -i net' in about .2 seconds.
But that is not the point. You and I can probably find this much
pretty easily. There are many who can't, and probably those are the
ones who may need this info the most.
> I don't think that keywords that describe the entire HOWTO would be
> of much help.  I've been hard-pressed to think up any important
> keywords to describe some HOWTOs.

That's strange. Maybe true of 'some', but I think most would have
things covered that are not obvious from the title. I hate to be self
centered, but I just updated the FDU mini howto, so I can use this as
a good example. KEYWORDS: Font, XFree, Netscape, xftt, xfsft, xfs,
truetype. And sure you can find this with grep, but not with find or
locate. And most are not in the abstract either. In fact, 'font' might
be the only one in there.
> The abstracts of HOWTOs already exist, and could be utilized in
> searching.  A simple way to do this would be to collect all the
> abstracts into a single file.  Then a user would use grep, an
> editor, a pager, etc. to search that "abstract" file.  I can now go
> to the HOWTO directory and use zgrep to search all words of all
> HOWTOs, but on an old PC it takes a while.  So it would be faster to
> just search one abstract file.  With the latest PCs it wouldn't save
> much time.

Again, I can use grep, but that is not really the point. The point is
to make it easy find which docs have what information -- for
everybody. Collecting all abstracts in a file is one step away from
having a searchable keyword index file. 
> If what one was looking for didn't turn up in the abstracts, one
> might need to use grep (or zgrep) anyway (to search all the HOWTOs).
> The advantage of a grep search is that it shows the context of the
> use of the term.  A keyword doesn't show this.  Thus while I think
> that doing the abstract file is more feasible than keywords (for the
> entire HOWTO), I don't consider doing it a high priority.

Well, I guess you are not alone. And the abstract is already there so
it would certainly be a lot easier.

Hal B

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