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Per Westermark
04/18/12 11:59
Read: 787 times
Sweden


 
#187210 - Still lots of assumptions and unbacked claims
Responding to: Richard Erlacher's previous message
Richard said:
While there has been some time that's passed since then, I doubt there's much change in attitudes.


So your view on the state of documentation of Linux or open source in general isn't a view on the state now, but the view of the state some unknown years ago.

Since you refuse to give any explicit examples, I'll give a couple. What do you find wrong with the documentation available?
http://wxwidgets.org/docs/
http://www.samba.org/samba/docs/
http://httpd.apache.org/docs/
http://www.gnu.org/software/...bison.html

I've not "interviewed" such people, but I have had them under my supervision over the past few decades, and have gathered from their attitudes that those who write code don't like to have to document it.


Please read more carefully. You often miss very important things when you read and then answer.
I wondered about the people who have as a profession to write manuals and documentation. It is, after all, not a developer who should write end-user documentation for any serious piece of hardware/software.

There's plenty of information about installation and configuration, but precious little about what to do and how to do it.

So what about sites like:
http://tldp.org/
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/
http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html

I've looked at both code and doc's since then and seen little improvement in relative lag between doc and code.

What doc?
What code?
There are never any explicit references given.

Just because there's a LDP doesn't ensure that the last-released doc's are in any sense current.

But then there isn't normally a need. The documentation telling you what you can do with a software can often be totally relevant even if several years old. Simply for the reason that the explicit list of command-line switches supported are often documented separately.

So you have one type of documentation in book form, where an end-user learns the concepts and ideas and what type of problems a tool is intended for.
Then a second set of documentation in form of manual pages, wiki pages or similar that contains explicit details, release history etc.
Then there is a third set of documentation sent with the source code, supplying important technical information for a developer who wants to modify the application and needs to know some of the workings of otherwise black boxes - this is documentation that either doesn't exist or only exist in form of NDA-covered manuals for special partners when talking about commercial projects.

When debating documentation - especially when complaining about state of documentation - it really is important to know what the goal/target/issue is and give relevant arguments together with the necessary references to allow someone else to check up on the state before answering.

With GIMP, I found that there's more emphasis on what one can do than on how to do it.


And this would differ from commercial software?

Haven't you already noticed that the majority of commercial software do release documentation saying what you can do. Then third-party authors get their income from writing books explaining for the users how you use the tools for real-world problems? Try Amazon and check on books about different software. The main difference is that for commercial products, you are normally forced to buy commercial books. For open-source products, there are often people who write similar types of books but covered under an open license, where you can download it for free. In both cases, you have to get this extra information from a third party. The issue is that the printed book gets old - so you have to buy a new one when 2.0 becomes 3.0. The pdf book may get newer versions that you can still continue to download for free.

"LINUX components originate, to some extent, from *NIX where people did things in such a way as to make their efforts impenetrable, thereby ensuring job security."

Linux (why you use all capitals?) obviously originate from *NIX. But no - people did not do things to make their efforts impenetrable. On the contrary. Most unix programmers have a want to write code that a reader will find beautiful. People writing commercial software for Windows knows that no one outside the company will ever see the code.

The incorrect idea about Unix and complexities or unreadability etc stems from the fact that the original Unix systems did solve very complex problems using very little hardware. They where the "embedded programmers" of their time - but solving corporate-level problems with hardware less powerful than the best 8051 chips. Think about writing a multiuser system for 10-100 concurrent users on a processor with 64kB RAM, and process the inventory for a company like AT&T...

List of 92 messages in thread
TopicAuthorDate
has linux had its chips?      Jez Smith      04/06/12 05:09      
   some weirdo in sandals a ponytail        Andy Neil      04/06/12 05:38      
      Problem is      Jez Smith      04/06/12 06:16      
      possibly, but not only      Erik Malund      04/06/12 08:11      
      It's all in the history ... and "read the code" doesn't work      Richard Erlacher      04/06/12 16:39      
         Good points!      Andy Neil      04/07/12 14:48      
            Why not a firm objective?      Richard Erlacher      04/08/12 00:32      
               Lots of projects have a large percentage research        Per Westermark      04/08/12 14:58      
                  I knew you'd have to come in with something irrelevant      Richard Erlacher      04/08/12 19:29      
                     Try document an invention before it's invented...      Per Westermark      04/08/12 20:16      
                        Here's some research for you, Per      Richard Erlacher      04/09/12 13:03      
                           Richard to give an example      Erik Malund      04/09/12 13:16      
                              I'd like YOU, Erik, to come up with one example ...      Richard Erlacher      04/09/12 13:42      
                                 Always prejudice from Richard      Per Westermark      04/09/12 23:14      
                                 'documenting' means many things      Jim Granville      04/10/12 01:11      
                                 here we go again      Erik Malund      04/10/12 08:00      
                                    when you're wrong, you're wrong      Richard Erlacher      04/12/12 10:52      
                                       I do not have a microscope and probes that small      Erik Malund      04/12/12 12:30      
                                          So you've made no observations ... you just guessed ...      Richard Erlacher      04/15/12 02:22      
                                             and that irks you immensely      Erik Malund      04/15/12 06:33      
                                                What did you do, aside from guessing?      Richard Erlacher      04/15/12 09:04      
                                                   then please, tell me      Erik Malund      04/15/12 15:45      
                                                      Are you willing to explore this in detail?      Richard Erlacher      04/16/12 09:07      
                                                         now you are jumping      Erik Malund      04/16/12 09:38      
                           Your references aren't exactly backing your view      Per Westermark      04/09/12 23:39      
                              It's not about me ... it's about process      Richard Erlacher      04/10/12 00:08      
                                 But processes contains feedback loops      Per Westermark      04/10/12 00:56      
                                    I believe you've gone off-the-rails, Per      Richard Erlacher      04/12/12 11:04      
                                       But getty isn't Linux      Per Westermark      04/12/12 11:28      
                                          it's a small piece, but it's an example      Richard Erlacher      04/15/12 02:10      
                                             But not of Linux      Per Westermark      04/15/12 07:08      
                                                It was part of the distribution.      Richard Erlacher      04/15/12 09:06      
                                 'Research' can mean many things      Jim Granville      04/10/12 01:00      
                                    Yes, but that's in a different context      Richard Erlacher      04/12/12 11:11      
                                       You still haven't told what Linux documentation you miss      Per Westermark      04/12/12 11:44      
                                          I don't know what you mean      Richard Erlacher      04/15/12 02:28      
                                             Still claims based on assumptions and not facts      Per Westermark      04/15/12 07:19      
                                                Not everyone is completely stupid      Richard Erlacher      04/15/12 08:28      
                                                   But what is the relevance today?      Per Westermark      04/15/12 10:08      
                                                      I've no opinion about the current LINUX      Richard Erlacher      04/16/12 09:16      
                                                         and, you Richard, who loves living in the past      Erik Malund      04/16/12 09:40      
                                                            just a minute, Erik      Richard Erlacher      04/17/12 09:36      
                                                               Examples?      Per Westermark      04/17/12 10:42      
                                                                  Nothing has changed since 15 years ago ...      Richard Erlacher      04/17/12 23:03      
                                                                     at least not Richards opinions :)      Erik Malund      04/18/12 07:42      
                                                                     Still lots of assumptions and unbacked claims      Per Westermark      04/18/12 11:59      
                                 Oh, Richard, I have a job for you      Erik Malund      04/10/12 08:14      
                           I had Yourdons first book as manuscript and ...      Erik Malund      04/10/12 08:11      
                              be careful ...      Richard Erlacher      04/12/12 10:23      
                                 were you once a bartender ...      Erik Malund      04/12/12 10:47      
                                    You have to accept the difference ...      Richard Erlacher      04/12/12 11:14      
                                 We are careful      Per Westermark      04/12/12 11:01      
                     Hog Wash.....        Michael Karas      04/08/12 21:57      
                        Odd that you see it that way ...      Richard Erlacher      04/09/12 11:24      
                     I just documented fully      Erik Malund      04/09/12 06:43      
               Because an "Objective" is not a final product specification        Andy Neil      04/09/12 02:36      
                  I have to disagree ... the objective specification is step 1      Richard Erlacher      04/09/12 11:36      
            documentation        Andy Peters      04/09/12 11:02      
               Definitely not the "usual response"      Per Westermark      04/09/12 22:47      
   Android      Joseph Hebert      04/06/12 09:31      
      I don't think so      Jez Smith      04/06/12 12:58      
         Don't agree      Per Westermark      04/07/12 07:05      
      all due respect, no.      Andy Peters      04/09/12 11:11      
         Apple may have a price match on the superluxourious      Erik Malund      04/09/12 11:40      
            re: Apple may have a price match on the superluxourious      Andy Peters      04/11/12 18:31      
               but 95% of the population does not need....      Erik Malund      04/12/12 07:35      
                  Web browsing normally the most power-hungry you can do      Per Westermark      04/12/12 10:32      
                  re: 95%      Andy Peters      04/12/12 10:40      
               So how exactly am I wrong?      Joseph Hebert      04/12/12 08:11      
                  But Android is Linux      Per Westermark      04/12/12 10:41      
                     Just the opposite        Joseph Hebert      04/12/12 12:11      
                        {sigh}      Andy Peters      04/13/12 10:42      
                           just like the preacher said to the atheist      Erik Malund      04/13/12 11:13      
                  re: How exactly?      Andy Peters      04/12/12 11:51      
      850000 Android phones activated per day, linux video      Frieder Ferlemann      04/09/12 11:25      
   anecdotes...      Jim Granville      04/06/12 15:29      
      These guys...      Jez Smith      04/07/12 01:40      
         digital audio consoles      Andy Peters      04/09/12 11:13      
   The Rasperry Pi Foundation clearly doesn't think so!      Andy Neil      04/09/12 02:41      
      The world isn't just a few companies      Per Westermark      04/09/12 06:47      
   the basic problem with free software is...      Erik Malund      04/10/12 08:33      
      Careful with the use of "Linux". Most things "Linux" aren't!      Per Westermark      04/10/12 08:53      
         I did refer to linux itself      Erik Malund      04/10/12 09:06      
            Wrong hw selected, or just big lack of platform knowledge?      Per Westermark      04/10/12 12:54      
               a port      Erik Malund      04/10/12 13:10      
                  Always danger with low-level code for platform      Per Westermark      04/10/12 14:32      
      True - but "paid-for" is not necessarily any better!      Andy Neil      04/10/12 13:31      
         when selecting any tool      Erik Malund      04/10/12 13:44      
      As Stallman said.....      Steve M. Taylor      04/11/12 15:59      
         free      Erik Malund      04/12/12 08:11      
            All about volume or already existing knowledge/experience      Per Westermark      04/12/12 10:37      
   Well...say what you like about me, and many people do.        Jez Smith      04/11/12 14:43      

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