Improve the LFS book for everyone

Matthias Benkmann matthias at
Mon Sep 16 02:32:56 PDT 2002

On Sun, 15 Sep 2002 13:16:13 -0400 (EDT) Bill Maltby LFS Related
<lfsbill at> wrote:

> On Sun, 15 Sep 2002, Max van de Wiel wrote:
> > You are right about this,... its just that i am getting a litle sick
> > off people complaining about someones question. questions are free, as
> > you are free to answer them or not.
> No, questions are *not* free. It takes the time and bandwidth of the
> asker. And if one wants to monitor the list to provide help, it takes
> that persons time and bandwidth. 

What I find even more important is that the really hard problems, the ones
that need expert help get drowned in a flood of FAQs and trivial issues. I
used to read all messages on lfs-support and answered many of them. Now
I'm skipping many of them and answer less frequently. I'm sure the same is
true for others who are/were active on lfs-support. This is not a good

But let's get back to the point (which is NOT laziness or other aspects of
human behaviour; I apologize for picking such an inappropriate subject
line). I suggested that we should start the book with pointers to the


and the

Linux Users' Guide

I further suggest that information contained in these documents that is
considered essential knowledge that is expected of an advanced Linux user
be removed from the LFS book (this includes for instance instructions
about extracting tarballs). I intend to achieve the following

1) People who build LFS will skim the above documents and if they find
they don't already know the stuff in there, will read them (at least the
parts they don't know). This will increase their overall Linux knowledge
which is a Good Thing, regardless of whether they build LFS or not.

2) By increasing the knowledge of future LFS users before they begin, we
will reduce the number of unnecessary support requests, because these
users will be more capable of helping themselves. I believe that this is a
Good Thing, too.

3) A reduced number of support requests will lead to improved responses to
the remaining support requests.

4) The information on Linux basics included in the book right now cannot
(and should not) compete with the above 2 documents which were written
specifically to communicate Linux basics. Pointing to the above documents
rather than have people pick up fragments here and there while building
LFS, will improve the learning value for newbies.

5) By focussing on advanced Linux users (read users who have read the
above 2 documents or have otherwise acquired similar knowledge) who have
always been LFS's primary audience, the LFS book can provide them with a
better reading experience and consequentially more learning value.


Where...the ENIAC is equipped with 18000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons,
computers in the future may have 1000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh just
1-1/2 tons.

Popular Mechanics, March 1949, p.258

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