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Re: new user list
- To: misc_(_at_)_openbsd_(_dot_)_org
- Subject: Re: new user list
- From: Johan Sunnerstig <Johan_(_dot_)_Sunnerstig_(_at_)_netgiro_(_dot_)_com>
- Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 10:50:30 +0100
Before I started using OpenBSD I had only used FreeBSD very briefly,
enough to be anywhere near proficent with it.
Aside from that all my *NIX knowledge was from Solaris and Linux.
I managed to make most everything I wanted work thanks to the excellent
I don't considder myself smarter(or stupider for that matter) than your
computer user, I don't think you have to be some kind of genius to
the manpages in OpenBSD, you just have to use your brain a bit and pay
Solaris manpages on the other hand...*shrugs*...
From: anonymous [mailto:vcharlie_(_at_)_mindspring_(_dot_)_com]
Sent: den 22 januari 2003 03:59
Subject: Re: new user list
I am glad that you have found OpenBSD's documentation to be wonderful and
have always considered it to be readable and accessible. I wish I was as
smart as you are. But I'm not, and there's a lot of other people out there
who aren't that smart either. And I really do believe that the man pages
are not readable by many (most?) new users. And I don't think I'm the only
one who realizes that. Because they're packed with information? Yes.
Because they're thorough? Yes. But most of all becaues they're witten in
formal, terse, technobabble. If you know the babble, they're useful as a
reference tool, but if you don't, they might as well be written in Chinese
or Hindi. Most people can't learn efficiently (if at all) that way. It
would be like throwing a 50 lb. dictionary at a young child and expecting
the child to use it to learn to read. Most can't do it that way.
I'm sorry if you disagree, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
And sombody has to be the first one to say that the emperor can't read . . .
Anybody want to help teach him?
----- Original Message -----
From: Kent R. Spillner <kent_(_at_)_zerosphere_(_dot_)_org>
To: anonymous <vcharlie_(_at_)_mindspring_(_dot_)_com>
Sent: Tuesday, 2003 January 21 20:20
Subject: Re: new user list
> anonymous wrote:
> >Hi Mike,
> >I agree. You have pointed out a big part of the problem, which is the
> >of "readable" documentation for OpenBSD. Readable for new users, not
> >computer scientists and electrical engineers.
> The FAQ is very readable. And very accessible to new users.
> Same with the manpages. See below.
> >Note to eggheads: the man pages are not readable by many (most?) new
> >Sorry, but saying
> Why do you believe otherwise? Because they're packed with information?
> Because they're too thorough? I was just as clueless as everyone else
> when I first came to OpenBSD; I'm still quite clueless. But I have
> found OpenBSD's documentation to be wonderful! And I have always
> considered it to be "readable" and "accessible."
> >"Can you read? man xxxx(x)" is not usually very helpful.
> It's _VERY_ helpful!!! That's the point!!! If you ask a question that
> is explained in a man page, then telling you to read the man page is
> _EXTREMELY_ helpful! If you have a problem which can be solved by
> reading a manpage, what is unhelpful about telling someone to read that
> >Can you imagine your doctor saying, "Can you read? Merck Manual, Ch.25,
> >Cardiac Arrhythmias - Ventricular Preexcitation (see Wolf-Parkinson-White
> >Syndrome (WPW)) [note QRS morphology] . . . "
> I am paying my doctor for his expert opinion. That's the difference.
> That's why my doctor proudly displays his diploma's on the wall, and why
> I carefully select a doctor, and why I have to fill out a lot of forms
> everytime I visit.
> The OpenBSD dev team are all volunteers. They owe you (me, us)
> nothing. They do this for themselves: OpenBSD is the operating system
> that they want to use; the notion of "OpenBSD community" is erroneous
> and pointless. There are people who work on OpenBSD for themselves, and
> people who use OpenBSD (presumably because what the dev team wants is
> also what these users want) but don't contribute to the project in any
> meaningful way.
> Buying a CD from OpenBSD entitles the buyer to nothing. The cost of the
> purchase is used to cover the cost of manufacturing the CD and artwork
> and the cost of shipping, plus a little extra to make it worth their
> time. If you don't want to support the group, don't buy a CD. If you
> don't like the fact that the purchase of the CD set entitles you to
> nothing other than ownership of the CD, don't buy a CD.
> What's so difficult about all of this? This has all been covered in the
> mailing list archives. What do you hope to accomplish with these
> redundant posts? All these conversations regarding the OpenBSD dev
> team's attitude, and newbie mailing lists, and .iso's, etc. ought to be
> taken off-list.
> Kent R. Spillner http://kent.zerosphere.org
> "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
> temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
> - Benjamin Franklin