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Old 07-20-2004, 09:00 AM   #1
Red Hat
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC
Distribution: Red Hat Enterprise Linux v 2.1, v 3, v 4
Posts: 174

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Red Hat Knowledgebase - please provide feedback

Hi everyone. I hope you enjoy using this forum, it's a great place to find answers to questions and for us to help each other out.

I've been working lately on projects involving with the Red Hat Knowledgebase: and I'd like to get some feedback to help improve this resource.

More information about what the Red Hat Knowledgebase can be found here:

So why bother with posting this to a forum? I would like some feedback, specifically:

- Do you prefer the use of a Knowledgebase or a forum?
- Have you/would you use the Red Hat Knowledgebase?
- What do you like/not like about the Red Hat Knowledgebase? [If you tell me its sucks, then at least tell me why.]

* Most Importantly *
What information do you want to see in the Red Hat Knowledgebase?

Weekly, I see that the most searched items are up2date, kernel, samba, and sendmail. Are you finding what you are looking for? Do we need more articles about these topics?

Please let me know!
Old 07-20-2004, 10:37 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2004
Posts: 129

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I don't like the login. I can never remember my login name and password. I don't like having my "browser" remembering it either. So I have to re-register over and over and there is so much information you guys want. My ph#, address, on and on and on. By time I get re-registered I have forgotten what I was looking for.

The search should have spell checking ... example I searched for

sendmail configuartion

... if I search on google for this it ask me if I meant ...

sendmail configuration

... I can't spell so I will always check my spelling on google before I search your knowledgebase.

Thanks for asking!

Last edited by SheldonPlankton; 07-20-2004 at 10:42 AM.
Old 07-20-2004, 11:30 AM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Glasgow
Distribution: Fedora / Solaris
Posts: 3,109

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I'm sure you have very good reasons for requiring logins, but I'm also sure that many people looking for a quick answer to a problem will be put off by having to create an account first. The sort of system in place here (LinuxQuestions) is preferable, where you can browse the articles without logging in, but being a member allows further privilidges. (I was surprised to see my login still works from years ago though).

Obviously a knowledgebase can only go so far in answering particular questions (the KB couldn't provide absolutely exhastive answers for every combination of hardware etc.), and in these cases a forum may provide an answer, however I prefer a knowledgebase, but *only* if the search facilities are up to scratch. I've lost countless hours trying to extract info from IBM's support site because of the sheer weight of false positives.

I do like the style and layout of the site, and the search seems to return genuinely useful results. The entries themselves are also well written, and (from my time on this forum) do seem to cover the sorts of problems people have. Just a small thing, but I prefer to have all the search results on one page, and I don't see a way to do this. The site also works well in lynx, which is obviously a very good thing for a support site, should X fail. One big page of results works better in lynx too if you ask me.

I'm sure a lot of people would like the official RedHat guide to compiling a custom kernel. A guide to the best partition schemes for different servers/desktop setups would probably be appreciated too.

I've not used it before now (I didn't know it existed) but I will definitely look through your KB if I have a problem. Just browsing around I've actually solved a couple of things that have been annoying me for a while. Overall, it looks good to me.

Old 07-20-2004, 01:50 PM   #4
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Debian Testing
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I have used the knowledge base and found it very easy to browse through. As long as it's up to date, I'm happy
Old 07-24-2004, 11:15 AM   #5
Senior Member
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Wales, UK
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu
Posts: 1,075

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One thing that would be great would be for the "how do I configure/troubleshoot X" articles to be broken out into their own section and extended into step-by-step tutorials/examples/recipes. I suspect that a lot of the hits on the topics you've described are from admins looking to perform a common task with a combination of the supplied packages e.g. recompile a kernel to support some hardware, configure RHEL as an AD member server, sendmail+spamassassin+UWimap for a single-site mail service. As ilikejam says, partitioning is an area where having a guide that shows some example setups would be really helpful.

I like forums, but it seems like a lot of the time posters really want either an overview of a technology or a walk-through of a process from start to finish, rather than a short answer. The format of forum posts doesn't work well for walking somebody through something that takes a number of steps involving several different systems/tools/config files. Perhaps a lot of questions also keep being asked because there is no clearly advertised "official answer" in the form of a document or graphical tool that a new user can find without help.

A couple of other suggestions from this:

- Add a button on the KB page for "next ten most frequently asked questions" so that the user can keep going through the articles in order of frequency.

- Have a clearly advertised page on the documentation shipped with the distribution, including both the documentation written by RH and third-party material. Example: the Samba manuals in /usr/share/doc/samba/html deal with many issues for an administrator, but judging from threads I've participated in here many beginners don't know that they are there. Sections saying things like "Perl documentation is in POD files, and you can access them by doing this" probably seem totally pointless but for the users used to graphical tools most of the docs shipped with a Linux distribution are invisible...
Old 08-11-2004, 10:49 PM   #6
Red Hat
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC
Distribution: Red Hat Enterprise Linux v 2.1, v 3, v 4
Posts: 174

Original Poster
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Thanks for the feedback so far. This is great stuf fto know, please keep it coming.

FYI - for the "how do I configure/troubleshoot X" we are workign on this. My idea is to have 'gateway' FAQs and then link the rest together.
Old 08-12-2004, 04:35 AM   #7
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Zinzinnati, OH
Distribution: RH, FC 1-6, F 7-21, Debian, LinuxPPC, Knoppix, Ubuntu, Yellow Dog
Posts: 176

Rep: Reputation: 31
I started using the RH knowledgebase or whatever it was called back in '99 (I think) when RH6.0 was released. At that time, I don't think I had to log on to search the database (I guess it wasn't a requirement then). At some point in between RH6.0 and RH8.0, RH did start requiring logging in to search the database (none of the browsers had the capability of remembering passwords at that time). I kind of moved away from searching the KB to looking for answers in Forums or plain Google searches (from which I could still look at the RH KB without having to log in). Plus, joining forums had the added attraction of getting immediate answers to unique problems.


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