A "HOW IT WORKS" sub-forum idea

lol! OK, you caught me, Henk! It’s really Internet but… When I write, and you answer, I’m very-very far from solipsistic way of understanding the World. You are not the part of my feelings, you’re a good and interesting man I can ask many questions, or just to talk about different things. We can argue, we can come to conclusion, though we do not seat face-to-face and see each other’s eyes. It’s a way to communicate. And it’s interesting (of course if I’m not annoying):shame:

It almost sounds like what is being suggested is like an SDB for newbies that is short and concise, and a more thorough SDB for those wanting more detail. Or something of that fashion.

Being part of the wiki team, I can tell you that I don’t think that they will make the SDB like that. They’d see it as would see it as redundant.

Does some one else have any ideas?

On Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:06:03 +0000, hcvv wrote:

> To add to the confusion. We do have an SDB haven’t we. I think as an
> example ‘SDB:Basics of partitions, filesystems, mount points - openSUSE’
> (http://tinyurl.com/d7343t) is in the category you want. But there is
> much more there.
>
> Isn’t the problem more: “how do we advertise what is where” allready
> (and add neew ones there), then that we generate a new bunch of the
> same/new documentation. in a new place?

I’d see the problem more as “how do we help users find the information
they’re looking for” - which is something of a subtopic of my discussion
on the project list about user education and training (because filtering
information is what the new training model is really all about).

Jim

Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator

Jonathan R wrote:

> Being part of the wiki team, I can tell you that I don’t think that
> they will make the SDB like that. They’d see it as would see it as
> redundant.

The SDB is help with problems.

For instance DVD installation help is not a problem solution, it is help
with regular procedure, so it fits more in distribution presentation,
introduction to new topics that new Linux user will face.

Problem is when such procedure does not work as described, and that is topic
of SDB.

I just updated http://wiki.opensuse.org/Help:Namespace to reflect latest
discussions that we had on different forums and mail lists.


Regards Rajko,

24 bit DAC wrote:

> I know what exactly does the most conservative part of each computer -
> BIOS. Then it activates the master boot record (MBR). MBR loads kernel
> and addresses it to configuration files. And so on. Where is described
> the area of responsibilities of such files in documents?

Somewhere :slight_smile:

Try in Konqueror: man:initrd
It is rough description of the boot process.

To be sincere, I wasn’t sure where to look, tried “man:initrd” in Konqueror
and voila. That was the article that I remember, with references to more
reading at the bottom.

Maybe it is just the naming that makes it hard to find.


Regards Rajko,

On Fri, 02 Jul 2010 13:41:36 +0000, 24 bit DAC wrote:

> I’m
> absolutely sure that no one will create a manual of such kind: “If
> anything goes wrong look into the .log and think - there’s everything
> you need”

It would certainly be difficult to accurately document everything that
could be written to any possible log and a cause and resolution for each
error message.

Troubleshooting is much, much more than a ‘recipe book’ for “error
message -> solution”. I wish it were that simple; I spent 15+ years in
the IT industry and cowrote a couple of books on troubleshooting Novell’s
NDS and eDirectory products, the most recent one is several hundred pages
long (it’s on the shelf on the other side of the room at the moment).

In fact, information that appears to be contradictory may well not be
because it depends on the context and what else is going on in the system.

And a fair number of error messages are just too generic to be useful on
their own. Drawing from my eDir experience, for example, error -699
(defiend as “ERR_FATAL”) can happen a lot of times when it’s not clear
what actually went wrong - and it takes someone with experience to trace
the actual code to determine what happened (and even then, sometimes that
isn’t enough).

Or another, -625 (defined as “ERR_TIME_NOT_SYNCHRONIZED”) - sounds pretty
straightforward, but there are some quirky instances where the underlying
problem has nothing at all to do with time synchronization.

Not really Linux examples, but as late as it is now, those were the first
two that came to mind in order to illustrate.

I suppose a Linux-based example would be an error on login that says
“Invalid password”. That could mean you mistyped your password. It
could also mean that you mistyped the user ID, though. Or it could
mean that the underlying authentication mechanism failed in some way that
was interpreted as a failed password.

The first most obvious response to “well, change it so if you type the
user ID in incorrectly it tells you that that’s the problem” - but
there’s a problem with doing that, and it has to do with system
security. If you tell a cracker that they typed in an invalid user ID,
then they’ll move onto another user ID. If instead you tell them
something more ambiguous, then they don’t know if they found a valid user
ID and have to decide whether to keep trying to brute force the password
or move on to another user ID.

So there are often practical considerations and reasons why something
might even intentionally be left ambiguous.

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator

On Fri, 02 Jul 2010 13:41:36 +0000, Jonathan R wrote:

> It almost sounds like what is being suggested is like an SDB for newbies
> that is short and concise, and a more thorough SDB for those wanting
> more detail. Or something of that fashion.
>
> Being part of the wiki team, I can tell you that I don’t think that they
> will make the SDB like that. They’d see it as would see it as redundant.
>
> Does some one else have any ideas?

One of the ideas that has been discussed recently on the project ML (a
topic I started) was a new user training of some sort (not necessarily a
book, not necessarily a wiki entry or collection of pages - the form is
still kinda nebulous) as well as a ‘bridging skills’ guide for people
coming from Windows (which is where a lot of Linux users come from, just
because that’s the dominant desktop).

I want to give this some thought over the holiday weekend here in the US
and see if I can put together a plan for designing something like that -
the idea, though, is that such training material (whatever form it comes
in) needs to be designed, not just a collection of web pages/forum
stickies/wiki pages/YouTube videos that people have to dig through to
find - there should be a distinct flow, but also flexibility for a user
to get what they’re looking for without having to wade through things
they’re not interested in.

Then the actual content would be developed in a collaborative process not
unlike using a wiki (in fact, that may well be the appropriate place to
develop specific textual content that then can be re-purposed into other
delivery methods and systems, such as a YouTube video channel or even
some sort of more formal Learning Management System (LMS) like Moodle.

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator

On Fri, 02 Jul 2010 16:19:02 +0000, Rajko M. wrote:

> 24 bit DAC wrote:
>
>> I know what exactly does the most conservative part of each computer -
>> BIOS. Then it activates the master boot record (MBR). MBR loads kernel
>> and addresses it to configuration files. And so on. Where is described
>> the area of responsibilities of such files in documents?
>
> Somewhere :slight_smile:
>
> Try in Konqueror: man:initrd
> It is rough description of the boot process.
>
> To be sincere, I wasn’t sure where to look, tried “man:initrd” in
> Konqueror and voila. That was the article that I remember, with
> references to more reading at the bottom.
>
> Maybe it is just the naming that makes it hard to find.

It’s one of those things that you know where to look for it because you
know what it’s called - but a new user doesn’t know what initrd is, so
wouldn’t know what to search on.

(But I think that’s something you recognise, right? :wink: )

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator

I fully support hendersj in all of his last three posts.

Trouble shooting is something that takes years and often starts all over at a new product to be managed. I also think that is the strongness of these Forums. Put the question here and there is often someone who will ask ridiculous questions (that is ridiculous to the OP and many others watching), because of those years of experience.

Thuis when you want to know more about a subject, start somewhere on the Internet, in books or here, try tounderstand. Search more on the Internet, ask here. Until you think. I have now some basic knowwledge about this subject (mostly then seeing that it is not that difficult and certainly not magical at all). And then go happily on to the next subject (During your first queste you will have made a list of new subjects I suppose :wink: ).

Yes, Henk, I agree both with you and Jim. Moreover, I can add, that previous experience oftenly helps, but it also happens to make your thoughts go in absolutely wrong way. I’m glad that Jim has got an idea of “bridging skills”. That means the one who wants to brush up his/her experience first could find the way to get the common terminology (and not e.g. to re-translate it into english from very widely known but already translated issue. My handbook, for example is Evi Nemeth et al. Linux administration handbook, but gosh how much time it takes to get the right equivalent in terms and definitions in english…)

And returning to one of your posts: yes, it’s very thankfull explaining how to solve any kind of problems. Don’t be surprised that there were no asks for help from me - I’ve found a lot of solutions for the problems of mine reading the posts for other participants of our (I hope, I can say “OUR”) society. And of course I also thank everybody who has helped someone and me with the same problem. And the suggestion we are discussing now is not a rumor - it’s an envy

A How it Works forum would be great. There are a lot of good programmers out there with darn good programs in the openSUSE fold. Sadly, they are not good at documenting their program concepts, requirements, and simple how to. Take Kiwi-ltsp and easy-ltsp. It is in disarray. A forum just for openSUSE LTSP would be great. There are many of us out there that want to incorporate ltsp in our schools yet, the learning curve can be monstrous. I mean, who do we talk to, when we have issues. If need be, I want to be able to call somebody and say ok, here’s a $20 for your time. Get me going. That would at least make openSUSE some money and help provide for the assistance. Some companies I deal with are using WEBEX to actually log in your pc and fix it on the spot! That my dear boys is a magnificent product. If we could do it for openSUSE, that would be a first along with making money and bragging rights. I know we are not stupid. Why not build us a help desk for pay to help professionals and those of us on time restraints get ahead. Man, do I have to think of everything around here?