Reorganizing the book

Bill's LFS Login lfsbill at
Mon Mar 22 04:14:46 PST 2004

On Sun, 21 Mar 2004, Bruce Dubbs wrote:

> Tushar Teredesai wrote:
> > Regarding the educational value of including it in the book (IMO)
> > there is nothing gained. The script is installed on the user's system.
> > He can always look at the script to check it out.
> I'm not sure I agree that nothing is gained.  BLFS has much more varied
> packages than LFS.  I think its important for users to see differences
> and similarities in printed form (or at least screen form in line with
> the other instructions).  What options are given to package x when
> starting.  Is there a difference between reload (e.g. send a -HUP) and
> restart (e.g. stop and restart)?  What is the S number and K number for
> the script?  The easiest way to explain the differences is to just
> display the scripts.
> If you must have a procedure, go ahead and add it.  But lets not take it
> out of the book.  I know it can lead to unsynchronized scripts, but
> prevent that is the  responsibility of the editors.

I'm with Bruce on this educational value thing. Let's take Tush's
statement "He can always look at the script..." to the extreme.
Websites, package documentation, man pages, source code are all
available to the user. He can look at all of those to educate
him/herself. So there is no need for the book at all. Now to be a little
more reasonable ...

We can back off and say we'll provide commands that might be difficult
for them to discover on their own, and explanations for them as part of
the educational goal. What makes this reasonable? The fact that a major
part of educational activities is *overt* exposure to things that might
not be easily discovered by the user. That means putting something right
in front of them that they may not think to examine for themselves.

I think the scripts fall into this category. "Hey, the book say make
... and everything just works, now need to go looking for trouble
here!". And bingo, we just lost a small battle in the educational war.

The balancing act between too much and too little does not disappear
either due to the intended audience. Its bias just changes one way or
the other. But in all cases, awareness is increased by immediate, overt
exposure to the desired material, rather than relying on the
inquisitiveness of the reader.

>   -- Bruce

NOTE: I'm on a new ISP, if I'm in your address book ...
Bill Maltby
Fix line above & use it to mail me direct.

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