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-   -   Bring order to Linux How-tos (

oudent 01-25-2004 04:41 PM

Bring order to Linux How-tos
First of all, I don't have the know how, the time (I'm a University Student) or the webspace to do this but I was hoping this would appeal to someone here. is great, definitely the best place I know of for anyone with problems with linux, so this is a great place to suggest this.

Why not start a huge, massive database with all peer reviewed How-to and troubleshooting manuals and whatever else, but keep it organized, and linked to things like linuxquestions, sourceforge, and all the major distros, etc.. I'm personaly getting tired of searching through webpages that no longer exist, or no longer updated, or not technically correct. More than that, I'm tired of finding webpages that are specific for one distro but not another, but they have exactly what I want, just not in a way that I can use it.

Drivers and such could be linked to directly, from a list of known working hardware.

Averything would go through a reviewing process once on the site, and incorrect information could be corrected, duplicate info removed, and everything given an accuracy and completeness rating.

Also, there could be a major Linux simplificating project started. You could still manually, but you could also use an installer (including for all 3rd party drivers in things like wireless networking) that would detect or request your manual input of what hardware you have, and then recommend a proper driver, and install it, as well as any and all dependencies!

I'm tired of installing dependency after dependency to find out that the program I was installing is useless or doesn't work on my computer.

I can guarantee that if all this could occur, Linux, or any other open source OS could become much more stable/reliable, user friendly and maybe even become a threat to companies like microsoft.

What is required is a group of intersted, skilled individuals, willing to put a little money out there to get this started, and thought it would not be fair to charge individuals as much of the information dealt with would probably be succeptable to copyright issues if it were to be sold, but adds and donations would easily provide these individuals with proper reinbursement and then some. Then with the cooperation of places like and sourceforge users all relavent information could be put together.

There would need to be a council of some sorts that would be assembled to set and maintain some standards and guidelines. This would prevent two topics from being posted, but do to wording and such might not be considered a duplicate, or may not be found by a user looking for a specific topic.

NOTE: any website that begins by being referred to by other Large players is destined to survive with appropriate management.

Linux needs this, it needs UNITY, as well as freedom. If everyone working on every distribution of Linux would have worked on a single distibution working to make it faster, more stable, more reliable and easier to use, Microsoft Windows would most likely not be the major operating system right now, or would be forced to become an even better OS...but why should Windows be better with its limited number of programmers and limited amount of time be better than something that has a much larger community working to perfect a single thing.
That would have been nice, but since Linux was not designed like that it keeps on moving in different directions, and the lessons learned from one place in one distro doesn't neccessarily get to someone working on the same thing in another distro.

I say a system should be inplace before the end of 2005, lets make computing better!

PS I'm not a comp sci student or english student, I'm a biology student so be aware of that when reading my message.

jtshaw 01-25-2004 04:49 PM

Have you checked out

h/w 01-25-2004 04:53 PM

very anti-climactic, jtshaw. reminded me of indy jones.

jtshaw 01-25-2004 04:57 PM

heh, I am not saying tldp is very good, I just wanted to show him what was out there now. I think we could do well to have a system like he described, but it also seams like a lot of work. It is always difficult to get people who really like to develop to spend time writing docs:)

h/w 01-25-2004 05:05 PM

well, the biggest problems to me seem to be -
1. hardware vendor support for drivers.
2. standardization of the location and structure of the scripts files for the system.

cant do much about one. and since Linux is OS, nothing to do about someone rolling out their own distro and defining thing the way they want to.
maybe if there was a standard for those /etc files ... :)

oudent 01-25-2004 07:42 PM

Thats what I'm saying though, there is too much variation and no way to deal with it. But at least with such a system if something worked for one distro, and someone managed to make it work for another distro the information could be added to the database, and if the developer of the software or driver saw what could be done, then the software could be adapted, and if not, at least people could still find all the information relavant to the topic in one place.

h/w 01-25-2004 07:49 PM

but what you're saying is very vendor-specific. the guys working on linux itself and all the drivers, don't have to look at this. it's the different distro's that lead to the confusion. unless they sit down and decide on a standard, we have to be happy with jumping around from one place to another to get/set our relevant info.

jtshaw 01-25-2004 07:49 PM

I would be all for everyone redoing there program configuration files so they use XML or some other standard. In fact, I would certainly be willing to help do the actual coding. It is just difficult to convince everyone to change to a particular format cause there are always things about a format certain people don't like.

I guess I think XML would work well because it is quite easy to deal with by hand in a text editor, and in code using xml libraries.

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