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  #1  
Old 2nd October 2006, 08:12 PM
HudsonMan
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Exclamation It Is Time For The Official Fedora Handbook!

Ubuntu Handbook (read this link, then come back to read this : )

Fedora Fans and Writers, Attention! Fedora Core 6 will be out in 10 days and there is NO Official Handbook for it. Let's crank out a $20 Handbook with color screenshots and a FC 6 DVD attached so everyone can learn how to install, configure, and use it for anything they want to do with it. I am sick and tired of seeing Ubuntu always ahead of us. It's time to do something about it. Fedora was made in America and American know-how needs to be represented. If you want to help in this cause, e-mail me at link. Half of the proceeds will go to Hurricane Katrina Relief so we can help the people of New Orleans get back on their feet. With the other half of the proceeds to pay for blank DVDs/CDs so copies can be made to be distributed to any group or school who needs them.

Mark McLaughlin - Writer / Proud Fedora User / Future Fedora Ambassador
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  #2  
Old 4th October 2006, 12:38 AM
RahulSundaram Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HudsonMan
Ubuntu Handbook (read this link, then come back to read this : )

Fedora Fans and Writers, Attention! Fedora Core 6 will be out in 10 days and there is NO Official Handbook for it. Let's crank out a $20 Handbook with color screenshots and a FC 6 DVD attached so everyone can learn how to install, configure, and use it for anything they want to do with it. I am sick and tired of seeing Ubuntu always ahead of us. It's time to do something about it. Fedora was made in America and American know-how needs to be represented. If you want to help in this cause, e-mail me at link. Half of the proceeds will go to Hurricane Katrina Relief so we can help the people of New Orleans get back on their feet. With the other half of the proceeds to pay for blank DVDs/CDs so copies can be made to be distributed to any group or school who needs them.

Mark McLaughlin - Writer / Proud Fedora User / Future Fedora Ambassador
There has been discussions on having a similar guide on Fedora. If you are interested, you can participate in that effort by joining https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listi...dora-docs-list.
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  #3  
Old 4th October 2006, 01:15 PM
hollywoodb Offline
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And if you have useful content you can contribute to http://www.fedorasolved.org

Between fedorasolved.org, fedorafaq.org, and the HowTo section of these very forums we have quite a large bank of documentation, although I agree it would be nice to converge the best of it into a central location.
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  #4  
Old 5th October 2006, 06:57 AM
Jman Offline
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The Ubuntu guide is official and published, none of fedorasolved.org, fedorafaq.org, or the How To section are.
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  #5  
Old 6th October 2006, 08:01 AM
steve941
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ok i'd like to ensure ive got this right:
Red Hat is what trying to separate Fedora more .. thats what brought about fedoraproject.org
i think that's somewhat right ..
anyway,
yes some kind of a official manual would just help for completeness and really help with new users.
2. the biggie i have, which i think ive seen around:
fedoraproject.org
ok go there, then goto say ubuntu.com
now to me ... the ubuntu site just wins hands down
yes fedoraproject.org has lots of info, but, I think we should work on makeing that more pleasing to the eyes.

but .. i do like the design of fedora.redhat.com
and this was why i asked about the separation .. would it be possible to make it look like say fedora.redhat.com ? ... well .. just sayin i think it'd be nice to have a bit better design for fedoraproject.org
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  #6  
Old 6th October 2006, 10:27 AM
neilloffhagen Offline
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I agree with eureka.trek, but the real question then is who has the time to engage in such a work? I'd love to be able to help, but currently working full time and studying in the evening for a counselling certificate don't have the available time needed. I'm sure that will be the same for many if us here (not studying counselling but being very busy).

Neil.
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  #7  
Old 6th October 2006, 02:06 PM
RahulSundaram Offline
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Posts: 3,764
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve941
ok i'd like to ensure ive got this right:
Red Hat is what trying to separate Fedora more .. thats what brought about fedoraproject.org
i think that's somewhat right ..
anyway,
yes some kind of a official manual would just help for completeness and really help with new users.
2. the biggie i have, which i think ive seen around:
fedoraproject.org
ok go there, then goto say ubuntu.com
now to me ... the ubuntu site just wins hands down
yes fedoraproject.org has lots of info, but, I think we should work on makeing that more pleasing to the eyes.

but .. i do like the design of fedora.redhat.com
and this was why i asked about the separation .. would it be possible to make it look like say fedora.redhat.com ? ... well .. just sayin i think it'd be nice to have a bit better design for fedoraproject.org
http://fedoraproject.org was launched independant of fedora.redhat.com to produce a site for development colloboration as opposed to end users. Since fedora.redhat.com was hosted internally by Red Hat, community participation in it on the infrastructure pieces and content updation was harder. So we are moving to http://fedoraproject.org.

There is a Plone based site being planned for better design. If you wish to participate see http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Websites/PloneToDo.
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  #8  
Old 6th October 2006, 05:26 PM
JordanN Offline
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Posts: 573
Regarding the Handbook
I definitely agree that this is needed, but to save cost, and keep it current, could we make this an electronic file, such as a PDF, instead? We would leave it to the end user to take the end-result PDF file to their local printer to be printed, or if they prefer a lesser quality verison, let them print it at home.

We would also make the contents available on the website, perhaps using the universal documentation system that everyone seems to be using, though prettied-up. An example of this system is http://fedora.redhat.com/docs/fedora...-guide-en/fc5/.

This could be coordinated as a project, perhaps it could fit under the FedoraUnity umbrella.

For this handbook to succeed, we would need people who are experienced in the following areas:
  • Directors/Coordinators (folks able to direct, inspire quality contribution from people skilled in the needed area)
  • Editors (take contributed written material, and make it usable)
  • Writers (technical and non-technical)
  • Graphic artists (aesthetics, diagrams, et cetera)
  • Publishers (should have experience with Scribus, or an equivalent program)

We need to make it easy for people to contribute their experience as a new-user. We could make the contribution process similar to that used by other open-source projects, but simplified to encourage contribution and to be less scary to the less-technical person who has never before contributed to an open-source project. This would be a VERY difficult task, as someone would probably need to translate their lack of jargon vocabulary into what the writers could understand.

We would also need to obtain full names from the users when they register so that they could be credited properly when the work is completed. Obviously, these individuals could contribute under a different name; their aliases would be translated only when the guide is ready to be released.

The appendices could be used for practical step-by-step guides to accomplish common tasks.


In General

What I would like to see if unification of all the Fedora sites. Someone should come up with a nice, short, easily-remembered URL (unfortunately, Fedora.org is already taken), and issue out subdomains to interested parties. This way, contributors could save on cost. Without meaning to offend any of the people already running these sites:
  • fedorafaq.org > faq.example.com
  • fedoraforum.org > forum.example.com
  • handbook > handbook.example.com
  • FQDN > DN.example.com

We could also come up with a unified navigation system. If we do this, we should also come up with a standardized theme (Cascading Style Sheet) so that when users visit the various community sites, though unified under one domain, they are not disoriented.

Last edited by greenlead; 6th October 2006 at 05:48 PM.
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  #9  
Old 6th October 2006, 05:49 PM
Dan Offline
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Location: Paris, TX
Posts: 23,279
Quote:
Originally Posted by eureka.trek
I would LOVE to see an "official" Fedora Handbook in spite of the fact that there are plenty of books out on the market covering Fedora releases.

Why? Because the current books on the market do a lousy job of covering the basics of installing and using Fedora.

The Fedora community already has too many reference works. What it desperately needs is a REAL handbook.
Helluva good idea! And I'd be more than happy to write it for you! But... I don't work for free.

If you're willing to finance the front end of the deal, Let's get after it!

OK. Sorry. Now that I've gotten that out of my system, a few reasonable questions.

1) Have you got any idea of the scope of the project you are proposing?
2) How do we deal with the incredible pace of changes needed by the stunning rate of Fedora development?
3) What did you have in mind to charge for this piece of work? And what do you think will be it's expected shelf life?
4) Do you have a publishing house already in mind, and have you queried them yet?

Dan
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  #10  
Old 6th October 2006, 08:29 PM
JN4OldSchool Offline
"Sean The Terrible" -- The forum(er) Vista® rep
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 8,823
Amen Eureka.trek. Amen brother. I have said the same exact thing many times. I had the same exact problem when first learning Linux. It took me a month to even realize what yum was because everyone just took for granted that newbies should just automatically know this. The book FC4 unleashed (which I STILL think sucks, but was the best $60 I ever spent as it introduced me to FC) has like two sentences covering yum then has a chapter on compiling from source with lousy examples that are hard to follow let alone even understand. Honestly, how much compiling from source do y'all do these days? About everything I need is in a repo. As experienced members of this forum we need to keep this in mind when helping others too. I would rather offend someone by giving them easy instructions in plain english and assuming they have 0 knowledge then give a newbie some arkane cli commands with no explanation of what we are even attempting to do. Chances are good the newbie already feels stupid enough and will not ask for clarification. Yeah, we need a good, easy, basic starters guide. A guide written for a two year old. One that assumes NO prior computer knowledge.
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  #11  
Old 7th October 2006, 02:07 AM
Dan Offline
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Location: Paris, TX
Posts: 23,279
Quote:
TangledWeb you seem to be under some misconception when you reply to my posting using "You...You're...". These words indicate that I am the person proposing this. I am not. I am simply responding to the question posed by the starter of this thread: HudsonMan.
I am under no such misconception. You've been the closest in your thoughts and passion to maybe actually getting something done!
Quote:
I am very well aware of the scope such a project would mean. For such a handbook to be published would require quite a number of full-time staff dedicated solely to it's production. This is not something that can be thrown together on a part-time basis. In order for something like this to happen some sort of investing angel would have to be found. This is not something that's going to be easy. It may not even be possible precisely because of this.
I was rather hoping you'd found (or were) that angel! The idea of a grant is sound and doable. However, we'd need a grant writer to get the applications and beg letters put together and launched.
Quote:
First, the noob is most likely going to be searching for a handbook in the bookstore rather than a downloadable pdf file.

Second, most noob's are going to balk at printing the thing out at the local print store. The cost of doing so could easily exceed any print version. Printing the thing out on the printer they have is also something of a non-starter in my view since most will not have a color printer thus they will loose the color in the screenshots.
Bingo! Right on the money. One of the reasons I spent $70 bux on Star Office 7, was the printed manual that came with it.

Now.

A little about the publishing world.

My remarks about a publisher are not sarcastic. The best way to get a book written and published, is to write up a chapter, a cover letter, and a query letter, then fire them off to a publishing house (who fits the genre you're writing) and ask them if they are interested in publishing it.

If they are, and they think it'll sell and make a buck or two, it usually includes what is called an "advance" on the expected profits. Advances have kept more than one writer in beans and bisquits while they toil in their chosen trade. Check out a publication called The Writer's Market for details about possible publishers.

And don't lose your passion!

Dan

EDIT: BTW, I was absolutely serious when I said, "That's a helluva good idea!"

D

Last edited by TangledWeb; 7th October 2006 at 02:12 AM. Reason: Added Content
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  #12  
Old 7th October 2006, 11:00 AM
eccentricgnat Offline
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Posts: 14
Writing a Fedora Book for NewBeez

Hi,
I had a website for a long time called the thelinuxapprentice.com...

When I stopped the site I was getting over a 150,000 hits a month...not huge...but good for me...I transferred two groups of tutorials over to my site I have now...
eccentricgnat.com...

One is on NVU...and that sections is getting over 100,000 hits a month. Now what does it cover...the very things you are talking about here...only covering NVU...and it is written by someone who has not a single clue how to program...and I learned linux by getting dirty...as I call it...and screwing up so many computers sometimes I wonder how I learned anything...

I agree...you need step by step instructions...with pictures...to include presentation or on the web slide show...style help... here is one tutorial for making templates in NVU...

http://www.eccentricgnat.com/nvu/nvu044.html

The writing isn't all that grand because I am not a professional writer and my spelling sucks, so if a spell checker didn't catch it...some of the words may be spelled in an unspelled manner...but...the point is it takes the person learning something new...for the first time through the process...step by step with pictures and words. There are slide shows...of which one is over 70 slides...

If this is what you mean...I would be willing to help with the slides or pictures...using screenshots...and adding words...because I am a beginner...and someone who has a real talent for writing could fix it up.

I could give some suggestions...
A new person needs to know what the linux commands are...
It should be on the inside cover...
How do you add a windows version of a short cut...
What are the commands for deleting files and entire directories
What are the commands to start yum...what is yum...
lots and lots of graphics showing each step of updating...using yumex and the terminal.
What does su - mean, rather then just su....What does su mean at all....
If you want suggestions I have tons of them...because I still remember those days...when I was trying to get away from ever having to get Windows XP....
I haven't looked back...but most folks would just give up....

If you want to contact me my email address registered here...

Hmmmm...I'll have to go change that in the who am I page....
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  #13  
Old 7th October 2006, 03:16 PM
JN4OldSchool Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eureka.trek
I foresee a major problem in starting this project. TangledWeb (among others) have suggested, or outright said, that because of my passion concerning this issue I may be the one to take it up. I agree.

There is only one problem in my doing so. And that has to do with the issue of arrogance.

For me to take up such a project and then publish it with the imprimature of being an "Official Fedora Handbook" (emphasising "official") would be the very height of arrogance in my view.

Who am I to make such a claim without the express backing of the people who run the Fedora Project?

I simply cannot in good conscience proceed without their express approval of me doing so.

Furthermore, without the express approval of the people who run the Fedora Project I see no way that I can plaster any handbook I might write as being an "official" one.

According to an earlier posting by RahulSundaram he stated that "There has been discussions on having a similar guide on Fedora." He then provided the following link: https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listi...dora-docs-list to that discussion. However, that link didn't actually take me to the discussion but instead to signing up to the Documentation Project mailing list. Shame since I would've liked to know what the Documentation Project folks have already done, are doing or will be doing. I do not want to be going around stepping on someone elses shoes and ticking them off by simply electing myself to the position of King (e.g. more arrogance).

A posting to this thread by greenlead indicated that this handbook thing might best be done by implementing it as a seperate project and having it's own web presence. I think that this would be a very good idea. But again, this would require the express approval of those in charge of the Fedora Project.

I would like the advice of those posting to this thread as to the best course of action to take concerning getting the express approval from the folks running the Fedora Project.

I think this project is going to be what the group makes it. I dont see you as arrogant in what you are proposing. However, I suggest going back and reading GREENLEADS post again and thinking about that. That was well stated. I dont think this can be any one person's project. I think, in order to be efficient it must be a collaborated effort. But this leads to many new problems. Now, instead of just implimenting YOUR idea, you now must decide things as a group. This means every single little piddly decision. This is the point where most projects fall apart. My for instance, I love YOUR idea of a super easy starters guide. For me this is a must also. I know exactly what you are saying here. But the idea of 3 seperate manuels? I dont like this. I think you can put everything a noob needs in a single 1000 page manuel with a retail price of around $50 American. I just dont see a noob going into a bookstore and choosing something in a 3 part series. I also question (just said question, I am still thinking on this) the part of making this manuel relative to just FC6. Another poster has a great point that not many of the basics change release to release. In fact, I am not convinced it has to be just an FC manuel. What about the possability of a title such as "Linux for Beginners" and including the latest FC distro as just an "example" or a "workbook" that the reader can use to get their feet wet. This still exposes them to FC but doesnt limit the market to just potential FC users. noobs dont understand that Linux is Linux, they hear about Ubuntu or something else and will walk right by your easy starter guide because it says Fedora Core on the cover. Just a thought. Another thought, instead of the main editor, or project manager taking credit for this book, why not keep everyone anonymous and sign the book as "The FedoraForum.org team?" As suggested by the OP, all proceeds can go back into publication and the rest to a good open source cause. I like the Hurricane relief, but I think it more appropriate the money go back into further promoting Linux in general.

As far as my part, I am interested in this project. I am not very good on the technical side, but I do like to write and feel I can "dumb down" the tech stuff into plain English. I think that would be my strong suite, though I can also get around Gimp and Scribus and Inkscape. But I am sure others are better qualified there. I will be watching this thread to see what happens.
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  #14  
Old 7th October 2006, 10:48 PM
JordanN Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JN4OldSchool
I dont think this can be any one person's project. I think, in order to be efficient it must be a collaborated effort. But this leads to many new problems. Now, instead of just implimenting YOUR idea, you now must decide things as a group. This means every single little piddly decision. This is the point where most projects fall apart.
I think this is where my way of thinking differs from more community projects. I think that one person needs to be the executive for the project (perhaps by vote). This person would be charged with making the hard decisions. This way, instead of fighting about every little decision ("When should be project be released?", "How long should the book be?", etc.), the community will actually be able to get work done.

Of course, the more day-to-day decisions would be made by the person responsible for that part of the project. For example, the appearance people would make decisions such as "What color scheme should we use?".
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  #15  
Old 7th October 2006, 11:19 PM
HudsonMan
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stop the bickering and go to fedoraproject.org on the guidelines for putting out docs on FC6 and beyond!!!!!
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