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Date:      Thu, 25 Aug 2011 06:39:54 +0200
From:      Polytropon <>
To:        Mario Lobo <>
Subject:   Re: A quality operating system
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <>

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On Thu, 25 Aug 2011 01:24:51 -0300, Mario Lobo wrote:
> Well, I think the handbook has got its name wrong. To me, it should have been 
> called handybook. What you're saying sounds more like you wanted the handbook 
> to be a usage tutorial, which it's NOT what it is supposed to be.

That's a valid point of view. When you compare how other
publications, named "Handbook" look like e. g. in the
mainframe area, you'll be surprised what "quality" they
are: They're aimed at a totally different audience, and
they have different concepts of how to present information.

> If you put 
> micro$oft's docs into this picture, prepare you wallet for tons of books. And 
> in microsoft's case, it has an obligation to take you by the hand, and IT 
> DOESN'T !.

Additionally, keep in mind to buy the whole set _new_ with
each version of "Windows" being sold. "Windows" knowledge
has the habit of not being portable, so what you knew from,
let's say, almost 10 years old "Windows XP" doesn't apply
in newer versions anymore. You have to relearn many things.

This shows: NO kind of documentation frees you from constant
learning - if you want to keep using new technology.

> The only time I resort straight to the handbook is to the hardware 
> compatibility list whenever I'm thinking of buying something new for the 
> server/desktop, but BEFORE I actually buy it.

Shoudln't it be mandatory to _think_ BEFORE acting in any
regards? Oh sorry, I forgot: PC on, brain off. :-)

> I think Polytropon put it very well:
> "In most cases, documentation requires you to have a minimal
> clue of what you're doing. There's terminology you simply
> have to know, and concepts to understand in order to use
> the documentation."

Thanks. I did have to learn this the hard way: In order to
really profit from good documentation, you need to understand
what it says. Even in "Windows" land, where you have to learn
new and arbitrary vocabulary for established things (that
everyone else can name correctly), and you have to get all
the strange concepts in line, beginning with "drive letters"
and ending in reboots after few changes. :-)

The FreeBSD documentation even keeps that in mind: It mentions
the "Windows" terms for things just in case some reader is
already spoiled with those deviant terminology (e. g. when
explaining what a slice is).

> Second, throughout your post, it sounds like your thoughts sprung up, not from 
> your own quest and research, but from somebody (Ron) who "is completely pro-
> Linux and pro-Windows, and against FreeBSD" (hummm...) and that is "the 
> biggest UNIX fanatic I know"(100x hummm...). And Ron's millage with FreeBSD is 
> never mentioned also, so that kinda drops the critique's "credibility" tag to 
> the floor. 

What's the word that may apply here? Prejudice?

> Last, suppose you issue a general invitation for people to go over to your 
> house for a free dinner, with food that you know (because you helped in 
> preparing it!) in your heart and taste to be excellent, well prepared  and 
> nutritious. And all of a sudden I storm at your door and yell for all the 
> guests that already know what you know about the food, without even tasting 
> anything, that a "very good and knowledgeable" friend of mine told me that the 
> kitchen is as dirty as hell, the food tastes terrible and that all the guests 
> will get diarrhea and probably die if they eat anything.
> What would you do?

Wow, what a nice analogy! =^_^=

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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