the book redone

Alex Groenewoud krisp at wanadoo.nl
Thu Jul 31 15:06:36 PDT 2003


Bill's LFS Login wrote:
> Those who are interested in continued learning will easily
> assimilate from the provided links (because they already have a
> strong foundation, the out-of-line is less disruptive to the
> learning process) or use other sources.

That was exactly my thinking.

>     However, that same trait encourages new users to undertake
> the pro- ject feeling that they have been presented a "recipe"
> for installa- tion and they only need to be able to accurately
> copy to succeed.

Which is indeed the case, is it not?  The book is, or at least 
contains, the recipe for building your own OS.

> There is no "continuity" of text, factoids or
> major considerations to make them think "Whoa! Maybe I'm not far
> enough along to do this"

But they are, if they can think and type straight.

> The lack of in-line "educational"
> material encourages one to proceed without diverting.

And to stay concentrated.

>   Because *so much* text has
> been moved "out-of-line", there is little left that even
> encourages any reading/investigation/understanding.

I'm betting on a different horse: the repetitious commands will 
make them so bored that they'll start reading the READMEs, the 
INSTALL files, the source...  (Sorry.  Just kidding.)

>  5) What is the educational value of so many patch explanations
> saying "Fixes some problems"? Why waste the space?

Consistency of format.  When using custom xml, such captions or 
phrases will all be the same.  They won't be in the text, but in 
the style sheet.  The explanations of what the patches do would 
come after them, as now on the Gawk page.  But most of these 
explanations are not in CVS yet, and I haven't taken the time to 
write them either.

>     With the "contextual" information of the packages, such as
> instal- led components and (most) explanations moved "out of the
> way",

I have moved only the Contents and Installation Dependencies 
paragraphs.  The explanations (Descriptions) have been restricted 
to only the appendix since halfway last January.

The Contents and Dependencies make the pages in CVS look full, 
taking up a lot of space, but they contain little information. If you 
leave those out, the pages look even more barren than mine.

>     It is commonly believed that the brain is an "associative
> processor" that comprehends more rapidly and retains better when
> it does not have to go "out-of-line". Closely related things
> should be visually, aurally and physically closely associated.

Hmm, yes.  There you have a point.  But instead of a list of 
dependencies and an enumeration of the names of the programs that the 
package contains, I would prefer to include the concise description 
of each of those program.  But not in both chapters.  The repetition
of the exact same information is a horror.

> 6) I believe that undesirable support-list traffic will increase.

I don't think so.  The page that explains where to get help is 
well-hidden in the back of the document.  And nothing refers to it, so 
only the good reader will find it.  And the good reader is not likely 
to need help, or at least not likely to post FAQs, I think.

Alex



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