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Re: SEUL: FAQ.
Great start. Here are some things I came up with while reading the
modified FAQ. Some are wording changes, others are questions.
Q2.1 "... into the grasp of the standard end-user"
Suggest change to: '...of the mainstream end-user' or '...of the
average end-user' as standard implies a uniformity that IMO don't
Q2.1 "... and the coordination of similar projects..."
Suggest change to '... and the coordination with similar
Suggest list of other projects be set up in a list (bulleted maybe)
and linked to the main pages in question (hey, why not give some free
pub there too?!)
Q2.2 Another benefit of having more users is that more users become
highly educated and help continue to develop new programs. More users
results in more users as the literacy and technical ability of initiates
increases (as I'm finding out for myself :)
Q2.2 "thus causing increased usage and development"
Suggest change to something like "fostering the growth of the
existing user base and existing development efforts (free and
commercial) of the operating system and other resources.'
Q2.3 Another difficulty for experienced users would be for them to find
Windows-system analogies with linux. Win 4.x users would be hard pressed
to find analogies of the Registry in linux, and the autoinstall of
binaries (outside of system installation), compiling the kernel and
other software. That said, there are some analogies such as shortcuts
(symbolic links), etc...
Curently, in order for a new user to get the most from Linux, s/he
has to acquire a good understanding of the underlying part of computing
that they would likely have been shielded from by coming from other
The 'average' linux user who sets up their system is likely more
educated in many aspects of computing than their counterparts using Win
or OS/2. This higher 'literacy requirement' is not a Bad Thing, but it
is something that we as a group have to facilitate if we hope to see
more personal end users using linux, IMO.
Q3.2 Aside: Is there a general HOW-TO distributed with each and every
distribution disk giving the new linux user information on how to find
information about various aspects of the install, config, and
specialized aspects of the instalation and admin process? Should there
Q3.4 The use of Linux in the workplace would probably also bring with it
an increase in programming efforts for specialized software. If these
software are based on GPL efforts, it would increase the 'pool' of GPL
based materials for other developers.
Q4.1 Suggest add: Lack of a consistant starting point (or document) to
explain the process to installation, what happens, what info is
requried, how to get said info, what info can be autodetected, etc.
Q4.2 Use of pre-compiled kernels. I understand that as machine power and
RAM increase that the advantage of compiling only the required
functionality within the kernel is not as important.
Q4.2 If RPM is making the installation process easier, could the
question be reworded to how RPM could be improved?
Q4.4 Improving help.
Interestingly, where the linux community is quite different from
the 'Doze community in general, certain places in the 'Doze community
(MS among others) have a knowledge base (web-friendly, and email
friendly to a lesser extent) to describe many technical aspects and
troubleshooting techniques (for instance - other software companies have
something similar), the linux user typically has to read the docs
(again, not a bad thing, as long as they are well written), locate a
news feed where they can access the appropriate groups and then ask the
question (after they should have searched the archives and read the
That said, linux advice on the net tends to be useful, effective
and free. You only may only get one of those by using MSKB, and
occasionally (or so I'm told) none of the three if you want to talk with
a real live human being at MSTechSupp. :) (In their defence, I should
say that I've had good experiences with the support engineers for NT).
Perhaps setting up a Linux KB would be a means to that end - using
HTML and some sort of search engine on the disk, it could easily reside
both on the net and on another disk or more in the distribution set.
Also, from what I've seen, the intro docs in some of the distribs
(SuSE, Slackware, RedHat via the InfoMagic set) are pretty sparse. Would
a generalized how-to on linux installation, config, etc with
instructions on HOW and WHERE to find help (i.e. an explanation of the
'linux approach') be of immediate use to the folks trying to get linux
installed? This could take many forms, ranging from a README on the root
directory of every install set. This would be particularly important for
the hobbyist type who may not have ready access to either the net or to
others in the linux community for help.
Pete St. Onge - McGill U. Limnology - Fun with Ropes & Buckets