Our Discussion on Fedora-docs [Fwd: Re: Fedora Documentation Search Engine]

Gavin Henry ghenry at suretecsystems.com
Tue Feb 1 23:37:08 UTC 2005

On Sunday 30 Jan 2005 06:22, Bryan Clark wrote:
> Hi ~
> Just some more questions to clarify.
> On Sat, 2005-01-29 at 06:32 -0800, Karsten Wade wrote:
> > On Sat, 2005-01-29 at 06:35 -0500, Bryan Clark wrote:
> > > What type of person do you think is looking for this information (a
> > > developer, an office worker, a broker?).
> >
> > Any end-user on the system.
> So any user of our desktop or workstation product needs to be able to
> find this information in order to be able to use it?

No, but why should they require internet access to read the manuals?

Why should look look in a million places just to find out an answer to there 

I recently had a conversation with some on the #fedora irc channel, and they 
said the reason they were trying Fedora, was because they had heard it had 
great documentation. The other irc users laughed at him.

Let's make this come true, by creating a powerful help/document feature.

> > > What is this person trying to accomplish by searching this information?
> > > Why do they need it?
> >
> > Currently, the best way to search for Fedora documentation is via
> > google.com.  That in fact is how I search Red Hat docs, using
> > site:redhat.com.

Again, why should every user require internet access to read about something 
in front of them?

> Just a thought, but would it be a good idea to integrate Red Hat docs on
> the web with Fedora.  That would mean there is one less indexing program
> that possibly destroys my system (updatedb) and less packaging /
> development work.  Although if this is an incremental updater it should
> use less resources.

Why doesn't RH just donate the docs, and we can update those? This has been 
discussed millions of times too, on this list.

> You could still allow for people to install the docs locally, but
> perhaps we could integrate an online search system for everyone that Red
> Hat indexes.

Could you re-word this?

> > Right now, if you install locally all the documentation available, you
> > might have everything you'd be searching Google for but are unable to
> > find locally.  Package docs go into /usr/share/doc and the man pages,
> > Red Hat docs packages also go into /usr/share/doc and may have an entry
> > in the 'Foot/'Hat menu.  Fedora docs are small enough that an Everything
> > install _could_ include docs packages.  That is a *tonne* of local,
> > online documentation.
> >
> > All of this is nearly impossible to search through without an index and
> > search tool.

Very much so. We could modfiy swish-e etc. to allow the user to select, 
developer results, beginners, advanced etc.

> What specific information do you find when you search for this?  Help on
> using an application?  What application is that?

Again, a drop down selection option.

> > > Assuming they need it.  How are they going to search for this
> > > information?  Yelp?  Web Browser?  Something else?  Are the mechanisms
> > > for searching and reviewing this type of information already built into
> > > those things?
> >
> > IMO, Yelp.  We need to settle on a common help interface and (ab)use it.

This would be fine, although, I would like to see the default web page changed 
for this.

> >
> > For example, a document on using kickstart to automate installation
> > might be at the forefront when Yelp is called from system-config-
> > kickstart.  If an indexer can do this well, it seems better than hand
> > coding docs to be associated with certain apps and actions.
> Context sensitive help would be a great thing and I know the Yelp
> maintainer (Shaun M) is interested in doing that but short on time.


> > > If we had more of an overview of how this project is going to help
> > > people we could possibly look at a way of integrating it's
> > > functionality better into our system.  Hopefully we then won't be just
> > > adding another piece to the stack of tools we have, but an answer to a
> > > problem people are having.
> >
> > I definitely think integrating indexed documentation into Yelp is a good
> > idea for corporate-type end-users.  People _used_ to use the local help
> > system more extensively, until Internet search engines proved more
> > useful.  The downside of relying upon the Internet is, what do you do
> > when the doc you need is the one that will get your networking going
> > again?  Better hope you have a second machine that has connectivity, or
> > that you know how to dig through /usr/share/doc by hand.
> Ok.  This sounds really interesting, I think I'm getting a bigger
> picture of what's happening.  Maybe with a little more clarification I
> can see what we're aiming at.
> Thanks,
> ~ Bryan

Kind Regards,

Gavin Henry.
Managing Director.

T +44 (0) 1467 624141
M +44 (0) 7930 323266
F +44 (0) 1224 742001
E ghenry at suretecsystems.com

Open Source. Open Solutions(tm).

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://listman.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/attachments/20050201/a7293cc4/attachment.sig>

More information about the fedora-devel-list mailing list