Salix Start up Guide 13.1.2 [DONE]

Shador
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Re: Salix Start up Guide 13.1.2 - 13.2

Post by Shador » 2. Jan 2011, 23:29

Scribus is probably the most professional desktop publishing tool which is open source. It doesn't allow exporting to html though, as it's more than a simple typesetting tool like (la)tex.
For documents containing not only text it's definitely a better, more professional looking choice than openoffice.
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f.bluedevil
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Re: Salix Start up Guide 13.1.2 - 13.2

Post by f.bluedevil » 11. Jan 2011, 05:20

tsuren, If you are still looking for additional input regarding your guide, I would be happy to give you the perspective of a new (two day) Salix user as well as a relatively new Linux user.

Of course my other motivation is to learn more about both Salix and "Slack Linux". However, I was not able to find a link to the document in your original post, or find it on the site.

So, if you interested in further input, can you provide a new link or advise where or how the document can be accessed?

Many Thanks

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thenktor
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Re: Salix Start up Guide 13.1.2 - 13.2

Post by thenktor » 11. Jan 2011, 12:04

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tsuren
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Re: Salix Start up Guide 13.1.2 - 13.2

Post by tsuren » 11. Jan 2011, 19:14

f.bluedevil wrote:tsuren, If you are still looking for additional input regarding your guide, I would be happy to give you the perspective of a new (two day) Salix user as well as a relatively new Linux user.

Of course my other motivation is to learn more about both Salix and "Slack Linux". However, I was not able to find a link to the document in your original post, or find it on the site.

So, if you interested in further input, can you provide a new link or advise where or how the document can be accessed?

Many Thanks
yes, why not. it is still on-going. i got back some good feed backs and proof reading is currently done by a contributor. i will need to work on this a bit more, so further inputs are welcome!
'Tommorow is like today, just happens tomorrow.'

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f.bluedevil
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Re: Salix Start up Guide 13.1.2 - 13.2

Post by f.bluedevil » 11. Jan 2011, 22:07

tsuren,

I spent most of this morning reading your document while learning a lot about Salix that was completely new to me. Overall, I thought the content was excellent, however, there were a couple of areas where I thought the document could be improved. Specifically, phrasing and structure.

Also, you may want to review section 3.3. Some of the menu items you describe either don't exist, or don't exist in the KDE version. I also found cases where the menu item had different title than those shown in the document. For example, I did not find, Rebuild Icon Cache or Salix-update-notifier on my system menu, while, "Startup Services" is currently referred to as, "System Services". This was the only area in the document where I noticed these types of problems.

Phrasing

Some of the phrasing would be considered unconventional by a native English speaker, for example on page 3 under the title "Salix OS at a Glance" you have the following sentence:
However, while in the KISS principle that Slackware adheres to, "Simple" refers to the viewpoint of system design, Salix OS also applies it to the viewpoint of the end user.
While I have no problem understanding your point a more conventional way of putting it might be as follows:
However, while Slackware adheres to the KISS principle, in Slackware, "Simple" primarily refers to system design while Salix expands the definition to include the 'user experience' as well.
While word-smithing is often a slippery and dangerous slope, phrases like "while in the KISS principle" or "applies it to the viewpoint of the end user" would generally be considered unconventional. Overall, the document is quite readable but it may be improved by a review of some of the phrasing.

Structure

My feeling is, the document covers three distict subjects: 1) how to install Salix, 2) how to use the live CD, 3) an introduction to Salix,(system, tools, software etc.) While I understand how these three subjects can be logically combined under the title of a "Start-up Guide" I think the user would be better served if the subjects were separated into two documents; one serving as an introduction guide, and the another serving as a installation and live CD environment guide.

My reasoning for preferring separate documents is the current flow seems a little disjointed to me. And, I think two separate documents would benefit the user by being concise and better task oriented.

However, If you prefer one all inclusive document, you may want to consider a different structure like:
I - Introducing Salix or Why Salix, II - How to Install Salix, III - Using the Live CD IV - Salix Tools and Software.
Please excuse my unconventional use of quote blocks. ;)

Keep in mind, I not suggesting you rewrite the content, I think it's excellent, I am just suggesting a change in structure may serve to further improve the document.

Last, I hope some of these suggestions prove be helpful and I would be happy to help in any way, if needed.

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tsuren
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Re: Salix Start up Guide 13.1.2 - 13.2

Post by tsuren » 11. Jan 2011, 22:49

Many thanks for the suggestions. They are very helpful. And I am happy that you found the document useful (part of it, at least). As you rightly mentioned, word-smithing is often a slippery and dangerous slope. (well, always... in my opinion.) And of course, it is my intention to make it easier for everyone to read. Reading back the phrasing you mentioned, I fully agree with you that the sentence looks a little awkward to my eyes also. If you find mistakes like that, please do blame my netbook. Its screen is so small and... well, let's stop with my lame excuse there. :)

I feel less inclined to agree with your opinion about the structure of the doc. I know it is a bit of tradition for every doc person to write a section about "how to install" at the beginning. But I wanted to stay away from that tradition. As I understand, more and more people are trying out new distros with live CDs. So it was clear to me that I should write about how to try out Salix OS first with a live CD before installing it on a HD. Perhaps the subtitle should be changed to something else other than "introduction". If you find it a little disorientating, then I really should find a better transition between the two section. Or creating a new section solely dedicated for installing Salix (separate document may be a possibility there, but I would like to keep them all together for the time being).

Right now I am not so pleased about the software section. I think I can streamline it more while keeping all the important bits.

Once again, many thanks for your comments. I will take care of those points you mentioned. And please do not hesitate to send me a PM for more comments.
'Tommorow is like today, just happens tomorrow.'

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mimosa
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Re: Salix Start up Guide 13.1.2 - 13.2

Post by mimosa » 18. Jan 2011, 13:05

I like the draft. One thing that also struck me in the previous version was the section on modules, p. 38 ff. The material is quite advanced compared to most of the guide, and could be confusing for new users; on the other hand, someone capable of using it could probably find it elsewhere, for instance in the wiki. To put it another way, to my mind, this section doesn't sit comfortably in the same document as an explanation of what the command line is.

I would suggest placing the material in another location and perhaps linking to it from the section on LiveClone, something like "Further information on advanced options for customisation and remastering may be found here". Alternatively, a line could be added at the top along the lines of "Don't worry about this if you don't understand it".

I like the section on the CLI. In the same spirit, would it be worth expanding the section on "Support" to give newcomers a bit more guidance on what to expect and what is expected? I'm thinking of something along the lines of the remarks about newbies here:

http://simplynux.fr/index.php/en/blog/t ... -foss.html

Indeed, as well as the mention of Slackware at the beginning, maybe some remarks about open source and linux in general would be helpful - I'm not sure about this. The two topics are related, and every newcomer needs to gain an understanding of this sooner or later. Early experiences on the forum make an important impression on both sides, and some background could help.

Finally, the link to Wikipedia's page on partitioning is good, but I think the typical beginner (who needs to be told what a partition is) needs some more basic information, in particular that he faces the choice between wiping Windows definitively in favour of Linux (in which case the info in the Guide is fine, after all, any mistakes, go back and start again) and dual booting, which is a trickier business and because of the common difficulty (and risk) resizing the Windows partition probably involves:

0 Make sure you have a Windows install disk,if you have a licence they are obliged to provide it
1 ***Back up data*** (not the whole of Windows, obviously)
2 Partition with Windows in the first partition, optionally recommended to create a FAT Windows data partition too (explain the advantages of separating user data from the OS), Linux home/swap/root
3 Reinstall Windows
4 Install Linux, set up Lilo to dual boot

Again, one could link to a webpage somewhere. But this is one of the hardest things a beginner will face, possibly with almost no background knowledge, and *right* at the beginning. They might decide, for instance, that it would be more sensible to install Salix on that old machine for now, or spend longer with SalixLive, perhaps LXDE on USB for liveable performance. A page talking through the options could be really helpful in providing some context for these decisions.

Finally,on my machine, the links don't open firefox because they point to

Code: Select all

/usr/lib/firefox-3.6.6/firefox" (No such file or directory)
whereas

Code: Select all

[~]$ whereis firefox
firefox: /usr/bin/firefox /usr/lib/firefox /usr/X11R6/bin/firefox /usr/bin/X11/firefox /usr/X11/bin/firefox
Not sure if that's a local problem or the pdf being too specific about where Firefox should be.

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tsuren
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Re: Salix Start up Guide 13.1.2 - 13.2

Post by tsuren » 22. Jan 2011, 17:36

Hi mimosa,

thanks for your comments and suggestions. I will consider your points. I also understand your point on more info about linux and open source stuff in general, but personally I am not a big fan of this one. As i was preparing the doc for Zenwalk a long time ago, I honestly felt the section dealing with this kind of stuff was uninteresting. I would prefer people to use Salix because of its own merit and its fantastic usability, but not because it is just a Linux distro or because it is aligned with the idea of open source philosophy.

Partitioning... partitioning... I felt the section dealing with installation of Salix has already dealt with this. But if you find more info is needed, I will add some more. As for the dual booting stuff, I do not think it is necessary to uninstall windows. I have done this so many times, and never re-installed windows, as you suggested.

As I mentioned in one of my older replies, my idea is to let a new user test on Salix Live first. If they like it, he or she can install Salix using the Salix Installation tool. I have mentioned in the doc that one should test how Salix would perform on a computer, and also mentioned in an earlier section how to prepare live USB key. If clarity is not there, then I have to re-think how to rewrite the section.

Once again, many thanks for your comments!
have a nice weekend
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mimosa
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Re: Salix Start up Guide 13.1.2 - 13.2

Post by mimosa » 23. Jan 2011, 11:14

Hi Tsuren,

Regarding partitioning, if my experience of needing to reinstall Windows was not typical, then the most I would suggest would be to add a line saying that if you want to dual boot with Windows, then you need to shrink the partition. It might be worth including as a hint the suggestion to defragment first, possibly linking to a better app than the one that comes with Windows. Again I am thinking of my own experience that even after doing so, stubborn fragments of files persisted right at the end of the partition, meaning the only option for dual boot was to start from scratch. This may have been because the Windows installations in question (there were several) were old and poorly maintained, and addled with viruses; or it may be a feature of that particular rather ancient version of XP and not generally be a problem these days.

The part about Live and USBs is very clear. My suggestion was to highlight that running from USB could be a good option for quite some time should a HD install seem daunting, because Salix is so fast. You have persuaded me it's not necessary, because for most users, it actually shouldn't be daunting.

Regarding open source etc, I agree, unfortunately it can be dull, and there is also the danger of coming across as holier-than-thou. What I was particularly thinking of was the attitude that new users (with little experience of Linux) can bring to the forums, as if they think this is just free support provided by people who have nothing better to do than research your problem for you - or at least that's the impression newbies sometimes give, when in fact the trouble may arise from lack of information about what might be called the sociology of linux, the community behind it. And all too often, they disappear after a day or two, never to come back. The Salix forums are amazingly helpful in socialising new users, as I can testify, but that might prove hard to maintain as the distro grows. Maybe the guide isn't the place to lay the foundations for this. How about a link to a page on the website, though, entitled something like "Information for those new to Linux"? In a nutshell, yes, use it because it's good, but it's good because of its community basis; on the other hand, users need to become self-reliant, and that's a *very* good thing compared to other OSs. There is a learning curve (let's be open about that and see it positively). And the page could have a few helpful links, for instance to off-site documentation. However, it may be that each user needs to find these things out for herself and they are better not made explicit.

Anyway, I did like the spirit of the recent piece on Akuna's blog.

If people think such a page would be worthwhile, I could try and put something together to be considered :) I know Salix is not aimed at newbies, but nonetheless they (we) come to it, and it works so well that it may suit them willy nilly. For instance, the Live tools are the easiest to use, the most transparent and effective for their purpose, and the richest in functionality that I have ever come across in any distro.

By the way, the problem with links applies to all pdf files, so it's probably just something in my setup. My pdf reader is evince.

However, just noticed that the internal link to 4.1 takes you to page 2 instead of p. 25. All the other internal links I tried worked correctly.

A new point - I wouldn't say that
people find that Linux does not excel in the area of providing applications with good graphical user interfaces (GUI)
It's better than Windows! :P

Seriously, you might put people off. Salix GUI, in particular, gives a really professional impression and is a pleasure to use. Surely the point is that the console is sometimes more powerful; but if you want to use core office, multimedia, internet apps, the experience is excellent. A few years ago that may not have been the case, but Salix wasn't even around then.

By the way, if you need a native English speaker for proofreading once the content is fixed, I'd be happy to help.

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tsuren
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Re: Salix Start up Guide 13.1.2 - 13.2

Post by tsuren » 23. Jan 2011, 13:33

Hi mimosa,

thanks again for your valuable comments. I am right now fixing tings up for the doc (I have to say I am very lucky. I got a lot of comments back from the draft). I am also testing out Scribus for the startup guide 13.2. So far the program looks good, and I might go for this if it is not too difficult to export the doc into html and xml.

As for your comments - I have a suggestion for you. If you have time, could you please prepare a section on open source, Linux, etc? It does not have to be long. But I see that you have a good idea about how to introduce the concepts to new users, and I would like to have it in the doc.

Max is kindly proofreading the doc at the moment. He has done up to page 26. It seems that he's a little busy currently, and I would not refuse if you could do a proof-reading for the doc as well.
A new point - I wouldn't say that
Quote:
people find that Linux does not excel in the area of providing applications with good graphical user interfaces (GUI)
:) but honestly speaking, I think this is true for most users (I mean, for most windows users). Anyway, I had this introductory phrase in there just because I wanted to highlight that command-line programs are what really makes Linux super useful - more efficient and productive than windows.

p.s. the OP updated with version 2.2 and 2.3
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