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#1 2003-12-11 17:26:06

EmaRsk
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2003-12-07
Posts: 26

Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

Yes yes i know arch is a minimalist no-newbie distro, and that's why i
like it! i by no mean think i'm a linux expert, nor a newbie, though,
and how did i learn (and keep learning) what i know? reading docs
of course! i think that info and doc sections are in many cases great
learning tools, and it'd be easier to rm them if someone does't like
'em rather than being forced to find 'em on net when needed. would be the
packages so much larger? i think that the time i save when
downloading a pac w/out info pages i'll spend later searching infos on
gnu web site. and when on modem connection this is quite
frustrating. so in the end i suggest that if packages are to be kept
stripped down, the relative infos and docs could be made available
easily on arch site, so one can download them (maybe a pacman option
could be handy?). i end with a sample from tar manpage: "The  GNU
folks, in general, abhor man pages, and create info documents instead.
The maintainer of tar falls into  this  category.   This  man page  is
neither complete, nor current, and was included in the Debian Linux
packaging of tar entirely to reduce the frequency with which  the lack
of  a man page gets reported as a bug in our defect tracking system.
If you really want to understand tar, then you should run info and
read the tar info pages, or use the info mode in emacs."

BTW: Arch is great!

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#2 2004-01-14 01:56:15

Guest
Guest

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

Having a fairly new 120GB HD, I loaded Mandrake 9.1 complete (like damn near everything) on a partition (one / partition; that's it) and did the normal basic customizations. I mount it from Arch (via fstab) and have access to Mandrake info pgs, doc files, config files, etc, from Arch. I highly recommend it to other n00by's with more disk space than they know what to do with...

#3 2004-01-14 05:08:24

_JeffG_
Member
Registered: 2003-08-04
Posts: 61
Website

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

Yeah but isn't that over kill to load another distro for documentation to learn the distro you are wanting to run. 

Jeff

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#4 2004-02-01 12:25:04

Moo-Crumpus
Member
From: Hessen / Germany
Registered: 2003-12-01
Posts: 1,444

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

Seems that is the target. Use another linux next to it, hope documentation fits. As long as arch has no own documentation, using it means lost time to me, sorry.

I was using Atari, OS/2, Windows, BeOS, Debian for some years. I am willing to learn, but every learner needs clear arranged sources.

I am not willing to search the web for a stable solution, and all I found out will proof to be a quick, dirty fix. Meanwhile, you may risk your system's stability,  security and data. I found well done solutions for some problems, but found out arch differs in several ways. I am not willing to beg for aid, to feel stupid, helpless and mortified, because documentation is so weak.  I can get along with rtfm, but rtfm - if you find it - is hard.

I hope the community will once produce a documentation for most common problems...


Frumpus addict
[mu'.krum.pus], [frum.pus]

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#5 2004-02-01 12:31:32

andy
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-10-11
Posts: 374

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

Well, there is www.tldp.org where the good old HOWTO's  and guides are.
The only problem I experienced with them during all the years was that they are pretty much generic explanations, and all the distros do it a bit differently - BUT here comes Arch :-) .... not trying to reinvent the wheel and keeping it simple.

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#6 2004-02-01 15:01:57

lanrat
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2003-10-28
Posts: 1,274

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

I've never found info pages helpful to me. Maybe there are some (like tar) but still most of them (or at least these which I read) were nothing more than man pages. Sooner or later you will have to find the information on the web and usenet (if man is not enough :-)). Learning how and where to find it on the net should be the first thing to learn for a newbie.
Applications' homepages (like in case of tar http://www.gnu.org/software/tar/manual/tar.html), http://www.google.com/linux (plus google usenet search and  directory - Computers > Software > Operating Systems > Linux), http://www.tldp.org and others are better IMO than info pages and additional docs.
I can understand that every command, program etc. shoul have its own manual already installed on the system. But doubling it with info pages just to use once, or twice some day is too much.

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#7 2004-02-01 16:24:46

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

I used an info page once... it was hell to learn to navigate.  I had Debian for a while but although /usr/share/doc was full of documentation, I always searched the web first. There are some documents that I have downloaded to my computer (javadocs for various software mostly, but some other manuals such as mysql). I think it much more sensible to find and download the docs you need (learn about wget) than to have to find and delete what you don't need.

Even when you have it installed on your system, it's hard to know where to look when you're a newbie. That's why I used google instead in the first place; it did the searching for me!

Also, online docs are inherently more up to date than cached ones.

Arch is young and does lack documentation for it's specialized features (what the heck is rc.conf???) that differ from the average (though it seems a lot better designed than the average...) however, the documentation for applications need not be rewritten for every distributon!

Dusty

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#8 2004-02-01 16:45:31

Moo-Crumpus
Member
From: Hessen / Germany
Registered: 2003-12-01
Posts: 1,444

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

Maybe you just don't want to understand.
· Genuine info and man and howto pages are sometimes useless, sometimes helpfull, but only as long as you know arch will behave this way. Unfortunately you don't know and have to try out, as there is little arch documentation.
· I do not talk about app documentation. OpenOffice is OpenOffice, whatever distro you ride. But how about setting up your base linux, usb devices, services, daemons, major configuration. All the distro depending stuff. Sure, you can mix different ways, do job one the sue way, job 2 the red hat way, and job 3 the way the developper meant it could do on some distros. How long will it work? Will it be light, elegant or smart? Isn't this what arch wanted to be?
· There is almost no arch specific information in the web. You have to guess,  if other information pages may fit, or you have to ask.
· Easiest things can be a problem then. Are you sure to have the complete overview about arch? What is the best of 25 ways to do a job, keeping in mind you use arch, not mandrake, suse or redhat (but it is their documentation, or documentation written to fit their distro).
· One of my machines is a laptotp. I have to travel a lot, and I am taking it with me. While you are in diaspora, you may have a problem, but there is no hub to put your plugs in, and no accespoint available. Maybe the problem could easily be solved.


Frumpus addict
[mu'.krum.pus], [frum.pus]

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#9 2004-02-01 17:13:11

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
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Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

You're right, there isn't enough documentation for Arch Linux. The developers are more concerned with a good distro right now, they'll get to documentation. It's considered beta software; that's why it's 0.6, not 1.0 or higher.  It's good to try to document your troubles and solutions if you expect somebody else to do the same.

Dusty

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#10 2004-02-02 08:05:59

sarah31
Member
From: Middle of Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 2,975
Website

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

Dusty wrote:

It's considered beta software; that's why it's 0.6, not 1.0 or higher.

no no no no ...wrong... error. YOU may consider it beta but NO hard fast rules exist about version numbering. look on freshmeat some day and you will find many many many many many stable software packages versioned less than one. arch is not beta software so just rid that though from your brain.

on the other hand the documentation developers are virtually useless right now they have not made a significant contribution of time that the documents require. many old news items should be incorporated into the FAQs the install/use docs need refreshing and the forum and mail lists NEED to be scanned for frequently appearing questions that can be added to the FAQs.

i have said this alot here and irc publically and privately. in fact one of these doc developers was the main motivation for me to leave the development team and move from arch to crux. crux needs its work on docs and stuff too but they seem to have people willing to work on such factors more than once a year.


AKA uknowme

I am not your friend

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#11 2004-02-02 15:08:58

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

sarah31 wrote:
Dusty wrote:

It's considered beta software; that's why it's 0.6, not 1.0 or higher.

no no no no ...wrong... error. YOU may consider it beta but NO hard fast rules exist about version numbering.

Sorry about that; I was just quoting something that I remember reading somewhere else, in another thread I think.

on the other hand the documentation developers are virtually useless right now they have not made a significant contribution of time that the documents require.

I personally don't think you should blame them. Writing documentation is not fun, and I assume nobody's getting paid to do it.  I'm trying to document some of my problems and solutions as I get Arch set up; that's the best I can personally do for the project.

i have said this alot here and irc publically and privately. in fact one of these doc developers was the main motivation for me to leave the development team and move from arch to crux.

You let people govern which distro you choose?

I haven't heard of crux... I'm going to look it up right now. I can't imagine anything better than Arch, but it's always good to search. smile

Edit:  Crux looks more "beta" than Arch to me, from their site, but that's just a quick impression.

Dusty

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#12 2004-02-02 15:45:56

Xentac
Forum Fellow
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2003-01-17
Posts: 1,797
Website

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

sarah31 wrote:
Dusty wrote:

It's considered beta software; that's why it's 0.6, not 1.0 or higher.

no no no no ...wrong... error. YOU may consider it beta but NO hard fast rules exist about version numbering.

Beta is just a word as well.

Archlinux is pre-1.0 because we don't think it does everything we want it to do for a 1.0 version number.  There are a few things that need to happen before we go to 1,0 and some of them don't look like they'll happen too soon.  This means that Archlinux will not be considered stable and continue having growing pains until then (hopefully things are stable enough that the growing pains aren't as nasty afterwards).


I have discovered that all of mans unhappiness derives from only one source, not being able to sit quietly in a room
- Blaise Pascal

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#13 2004-02-02 15:53:15

andy
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-10-11
Posts: 374

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

Dusty wrote:

I haven't heard of crux... I'm going to look it up right now.

sooo ... ;-) .... you're not even reading the documentation that is out there :
http://www.archlinux.org/docs/en/guide/ … 0000000000

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#14 2004-02-02 15:57:14

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
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Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

Xentac wrote:

Archlinux is pre-1.0 because we don't think it does everything we want it to do for a 1.0 version number.  There are a few things that need to happen before we go to 1,0 and some of them don't look like they'll happen too soon.

Any ideas what Arch Linux is considering to have or to happen before going to 1.0?

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#15 2004-02-02 16:04:11

Xentac
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From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2003-01-17
Posts: 1,797
Website

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

We're in the middle of talking about it.  I'll get back to you when we have more set ideas.


I have discovered that all of mans unhappiness derives from only one source, not being able to sit quietly in a room
- Blaise Pascal

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#16 2004-02-02 16:16:11

andy
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-10-11
Posts: 374

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

Care for some input ? (maybe this is the wrong forum, but here it goes anyways ...)
- filesystem fixes like moving /usr/etc to /etc
- some default permissions, especially in /var, are not very secure
- at some point I was thinking of some points with respect to default cron jobs and log-rotation. But I forgot the exact points ;-)

Sometimes, on my way to work I am contemplating about such things, but this is all I can remember :-) ...

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#17 2004-02-02 16:24:38

sarah31
Member
From: Middle of Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 2,975
Website

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

Dusty wrote:

I personally don't think you should blame them. Writing documentation is not fun, and I assume nobody's getting paid to do it.  I'm trying to document some of my problems and solutions as I get Arch set up; that's the best I can personally do for the project.

why can't i ? i put in many many many long hours in when i was maintaining packages and that is just as thankless a job.

not to mention i have put in lots of time at this forum and answered or seen answered repeated question. this is every forum regular's bain and is easily solve with current docs.

if i could spend 8 hours or more a day seven days a week then it is not much to ask a doc developers to at least long in for an hour on the forum and whip together a few faqs.

because they are not getting paid means nothing to me. they voluteered for the job and if they felt that they could not do it then they should resign and giv ethe job to someone like that is eager to contribute.

and by no means come back after an absence of months and intentionally try and aggrivate someone working hard to expand the horizons of arch. nope i am sorry but the doc developers are as useless as tits on a bull.


You let people govern which distro you choose?

yes i see arch straying away from some of the things that were impressed upon me that would not change. my policies did not change and my approach did not change. so when you are not longer comfortable in what you do and use whether it is your doing or others whyu continue?

I haven't heard of crux... I'm going to look it up right now. I can't imagine anything better than Arch, but it's always good to search. smile

Edit:  Crux looks more "beta" than Arch to me, from their site, but that's just a quick impression.

why because it has a very simple web page? because it does not have dependency solving?

crux is as actively developed as arch and their developers are all active in the community. they have a more vibrant community in many ways. and they are keeping their k.i.s.s. philosophy.


AKA uknowme

I am not your friend

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#18 2004-02-02 16:48:58

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

andy wrote:

sooo ... ;-) .... you're not even reading the documentation that is out there :
http://www.archlinux.org/docs/en/guide/ … 0000000000

Ah yes :oops: There's a big differece between reading and memorizing. wink

Sarah31 wrote:

why can't i ? i put in many many many long hours in when i was maintaining packages and that is just as thankless a job.

This I knew, but I don't blame you for quitting it either.

I don't know which developers you're having trouble with on the Arch documentation. Perhaps I just haven't run into them yet... I haven't run into anyone doing formal arch documentation yet. I suppose that proves your point.

Dusty

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#19 2004-02-02 19:05:32

RdsArts
Member
Registered: 2003-10-17
Posts: 32

Re: Stripped down docs? I think infos are handy

Edit:  Crux looks more "beta" than Arch to me, from their site, but that's just a quick impression.

CRUX is what, 3 years old now? 4? It's not anywhere near 'beta.'

sarah31 wrote:

why because it has a very simple web page? because it does not have dependency solving?

I though CRUX had some simple dependancy checking with prt-get? Atleast for ports.

Plus, CRUX's ports actually compile. wink

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