List Archive: gentoo-doc
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Jan Kundrát wrote:
> Hi Ted,
> you might be interested in a draft of the "Introduction to Linux" stuff
>  than one of our developers started some time ago. I'm not aware of
> anyone working on it ATM, though.
> Any contributions are more than welcome :)
>  http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/draft/complete/handbook.xml
I've been occasionally contributing to it lately; I'm intending to
perhaps do some more with it. Really, a book on Linux in general would
be much more comprehensive. Problem is, a general book about Linux
fundamentals is not necessarily what Gentoo needs -- users (and
developers) need to know specifics about *our* OS. The general Linux
concepts they can pick up from just about anywhere. That information has
been duplicated ad infinitum; just stroll down to your local bookstore
or browse the web. You want to know the specific Gentoo stuff? Our
installation handbook and online documentation suffice quite nicely.
Newbies would do much better to familiarize themselves with general
Linux terms, principles, procedures etc. before taking the plunge into
Gentoo -- read outside documentation first; I'm not sure I see the need
to include that with our advanced guides. We're not a distro that holds
your hand. That being said, I think our documentation is rather
satisfactory -- I don't see the need for providing a new to Linux *and*
Gentoo book. Unnecessary duplication of information, including an
arguable waste of time and effort.
That's why I'm still up in the air about Sven's old draft handbook --
there's a very fine line to walk. You can either just write something
that is more generic, and has fewer distro-specific
commands/suggestions/discussions (in which case what's the point?) or
you can show users what they need to know to accomplish tasks "The
Gentoo Way". Finding the balance between the two (if there is one), is
tough. Especially since I'm not too sure that someone who first needs to
know how a computer works (or what it is!) should be trying to figure
out Gentoo just yet. ;) -- Hey, I could be wrong; maybe Gentoo would
make a great object lesson.
All that being said, do take a look at the draft Jan linked; it's
already CC-licensed, and our policy thus far (based on precedent) is
that we don't host documents here that haven't been guideXMLified and
properly licensed without the prior approval of the author(s).