Fwd: Re: about patch descriptions

Ken Dyke ken_i_m at elegantinnovations.net
Mon Oct 21 07:26:21 PDT 2002


On Sat, 2002-10-19 at 10:00, Matthias Benkmann wrote: 
> The point is that the LFS book's patch descriptions can never provide
> information that comes even close to a very bad C course. Trying to use
> the patch descriptions to teach non-programmers to fix problems in C code
> is futile.

As was pointed out earlier in the thread, putting such explanation in
the book would get in the way of the flow of the book.  Links to
additional information is merely leveraging a basic idea behind
hypertext.

It is insulting to water down the information content of a document
because of assumptions made about the reader.  As a reader such authors
are wasting my time.  Well, constructed paragraphs i.e. different levels
of explanation are in separate paragraphs so that if it gets too thick
it can be skimmed over.

At a recent LUG meeting one of the people there made the observation
that learning a thing is a matter of finding the right text.  A person
might read five, ten, fifteen books on a subject before hitting the
right one for them.

In conclusion, I would argue that we not hide the information or ignore
it.  But point to additional technical info that relates directly to the
subject at hand.  In this case, explanation of why and what the patch is
doing.  A well written book has an 'additional reading' section.

[OT paragraph]
I have never had a class in astrophysics but have learned a tremendous
amount about the subject by reading the technical material available. 
The better material made no assumption about what I might or might not
know.  Just a note to all you college students.  It has been my
experience that textbooks suck.  There is some affliction that effects
textbook authors that causes them to write crap.  The best books I have
found to be those written by workers is some area who are explaining a
new idea to fellow workers.
-- 
I think, therefore, ken_i_m
Chief Gadgeteer,
Elegant Innovations
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