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Re: I'm a sucker


Aside: I didn't know whether I should send to both lists or not.  Is
only one valid?  Are they duplicates?

I've paid some attention to the this thread (which then changed into a
Style Guide thread).

I'm a Linux newbie.  I'm having trouble learning Linux.  I come from a
Windows background.  

I have not yet read the "From DOS to Linux HOWTO", because I did not
know it existed until a few weeks ago, and haven't got to it yet.  

Oops, stop!  I knew I wouldn't get away with that, so I just went and
read it.  Well, I skimmed it -- I will go back.  It looks very useful,
and I wish I had known of it on day 1 of my Linux sojourn.  (I learned
too much of the same stuff (over the last month and a half) the hard

Aside:  I wish some of the information were wrong, especially section
1.1 which asks whether Linux is right for you, and makes the point that
Windows excels in office productivity.  (I think I will be using Word,
Access, AskSam, ZyIndex, and Visio for quite a while.)

Anyway, the real point of this post is to suggest that getting Linux
newbies (whether from Windows, other OS's, or just plain newbies) to
read and comment on the HOWTOs would be a useful form of feedback,
especially if it was convenient for the newbie.  I've read a few HOWTOs
and had some difficulties.  I assume that some of you would be
interested in knowing where I (as a user, and newbie) had difficulty.

I'm going to be reading more HOWTOs (unless I give up on Linux).

Unfortunately, I haven't found the way to provide comments that I
consider convenient.  (I've posted another message seeking a WYSIWYG
editor for SGML, which is probably the convenience I want.  An alternate
could be a WYSIWYG HTML editor, but, unfortunately for the LDP (I
think), my comments would be on an HTML version of the document.)

My suggestions are as follows:

1. Add a section near the front of each HOWTO with statements like:  

"If you are reading this, especially if you are a newbie to Linux, we
want your comments.  To make it as easy as possible for you to give us
your comments, we suggest that you use <_______> on Linux or <_______>
on Windows, which are WYSIWYG HTML editors, to read these HOWTOs.  Put
your comments directly in the documents and send them back to <the
author or the ldp or both>.  We want to know what is clear, what is
unclear, what is helpful, what is not helpful, what is missing, etc.

If you are a newbie to Linux, coming from Windows, we suggest you read
the "From DOS to Linux HOWTO".

2. Find convenient WYSIWYG HTML (or SGML) editors for both Linux and
Windows and list them in the above text.

3. Send something to Slashdot and similar locations updating everyone on
what the LDP is, and that it is looking for newbie volunteers to review
HOWTOs.  Include a suggestion that Linux veterans make their Linux
newbie friends aware of the LDP, the HOWTOs, the From DOS to Linux
HOWTO, and that you would like to find volunteers who would be willing
to provide comments on the HOWTOs as they search them out and use them
while learning (or using) Linux.  Try to get the word out to Linux User
Groups and book authors.

4. Help complete AbiWord (or encourage the completion of AbiWord) then
develop an XML "stylesheet" for LDP documents, and migrate the LDP
documentation to XML for WYSIWYG editing via AbiWord.

Randy Kramer

Greg Ferguson wrote:
> On Oct 4, 11:11pm, David Merrill wrote:
> > Subject: I'm a sucker
> > I am stepping up to volunteer to take on some more responsibilities for
> > the LDP. I am going to try to manage the document base. Here are the
> > things I am going to try to do:
> >

> > 2. Compile metrics on the documents, such as accuracy, completeness,
> > readability, etc., and identify problem areas.
> Excellent. I get a reasonable amount of mail myself related to this,
> most of which I turn over to the author(s) of the documents in
> question. I'm sure there are a lot more comments that are not
> expressed.

> > 5. I am thinking about how we might institute a periodic review process,
> > so that each document is looked at by a volunteer and those that need
> > updating are identified.
> Badly needed.
> > 6. I'm open to suggestions from anyone on what other activities might
> > improve the overall quality of our collection.
> Since you're asking(!), I would place higher priority on establishing
> a doc review cycle. This would include:
> - Check spelling, grammer, bad markup (not too much of that, from what
>   I've seen...anything I find that produces errors during processing
>   I usually correct myself and feed the corrected copy back to the
>   author).
> - Content review (relevance, accuracy, etc.; as best as can be done).
>   We've gotten some comments on various HOWTOs wrt this item.
> - Establish a better/efficient dialog with the author(s); completes
>   the loop.
> Second item: see how we can allow for the users/consumers of the content
> to easily provide feedback. This is still lacking.

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