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Re: SEUL: Seul-Edu front page

On Wed, Nov 03, 1999 at 08:21:57AM -0500, Doug Loss wrote:
> In general I like the concept.  I have a few observations, mostly
> minor.  First, the non-minor one.  Under applications and projects and
> in your directory structure you don't have any link to or mention of our
> current development projects.  I'm sure that's just an oversight.  

Yup, I just forgot that.

> Now the minor kvetches.  Under Linux documentation, your HOWTO categories
> are separated by alternating slashes and commas.  We should probably
> pick one or the other.  

I was thinking about grouping these.  That is, Hardware/Networking was
meant to imply the hardware side of networking (as opposed to how
to use a web browser, for instance).  I don't know if this notion actually
comes across at all, or if it just looks funny.

> I also wonder if we should call these docs
> "HOWTOs," as that's a fairly tech-associated term that may be imposing
> to non-techie educators.  Maybe something like "Educational Guides," or
> something more culturally neutral.  I know that I'd be put off if
> something that would be of use to me was titled in heavy academese
> jargon.  

Capitalizing and squishing HOW and TO together is very Linux-specific.
But the notion -- a document to tell you how to do something -- is very
simple.  It also implies a certain kind of documentation, not "how this
works" or "how to use this to its greatest potential", but "how to get
something done".  I think it's valuable to maintain that distinction.
Maybe it would be valuable to seperate the words ("How to:"), but a
more generic term ("educational guides") seems too generic.  Also,
someone using Linux should see HOWTOs as an important aspect to
documentation.  This seems a simple way to introduce the term.

> One last whine.  We all hate spelling flames, but we still have
> to be aware of mispellings, especially if we're presenting ourselves to
> the educational community.  You mispelled propaganda.  I'm as guilty as
> anyone of mispellings (I tend to put in all the letters I think might
> apply, and trust the reader to throw out the unnecessary ones), so I'm
> sensitive to this.

Misspellings in email aren't worth pointing out, but since this is a web
page it should obviously be corrected.  So, you should't worry about
pointing it out.

Do we want to use the term "propaganda"?  In a way it seems frank and
open: "here is where we try to convince you."  But, it also sounds like
"here we give you filtered facts to convince you."  I'd like to keep
it seperate, to avoid preaching to the converted, as well as to make
people feel safe that we aren't bending the truth on the rest of the
site -- it's kind of like a disclosure of sorts.  But propaganda might
not be the right word.

> I like the invitation for visitors to submit content; it's a good way of
> drawing them into seul-edu as participants rather than just spectators. 
> We should also have (under The seul-edu community) those distillations
> of email threads that you mentioned at one point.  We could perhaps call
> them "The sense of the seul-edu community" on various topics.

At such time when they exist, they would fit well onto the same line as the
other mailing list stuff.  I left it off for now, though, since it doesn't
exist yet.

> One last question that I haven't any answer for at all.  How should we
> write seul-edu?  SEUL should clearly be all caps, since it's an acronym
> for Simple End User Linux.  I've written "seul-edu" variously as
> seul-edu and SEUL-edu, while I've seen others write Seul-Edu and
> SEUL-EDU.  I generally tend not to use caps, but I don't know what we
> ought to do here.  We could even do something like SEUL/edu, I suppose. 
> What do you think?

I used Seul-Edu for the page, but I don't know quite why.  seul-edu seems
too casual, or computerish, or something -- it's a proper name, after 
all.  SEUL-edu looks too off balance.  As though it's meant to imply that
SEUL is emphasized and not edu.  SEUL/edu looks better, something about
the slash feels like it represents the relation better.  Unfortunately,
/ is a pain to use like this.  The seul-edu list with always be seul-edu,
regardless of the proper name of the group.  That will only cause 

Seul-Edu looks too proper, like they might really be names (perhaps
truncated) or something.  SEUL-Edu might be a bit better, more balanced.
But even that looks weird to me.  And SEUL-EDU feels like yelling or
something.  Maybe Seul-edu.  We don't need to capitalize SEUL -- the
convention of capitalizing acronyms has become much more casual in the
past few years, particularly with computers.  Nobody feels that WWW
needs to be capitalized all the time.

Those are my thoughts.

| Ian Bicking                 |  bickiia@earlham.edu                |
| 4869 N. Talman Ave. Apt. G  |  http://www.cs.earlham.edu/~bickiia |
| Chicago, IL 60625           |                                     |