What is it about
After 8 years of practical Linux, I have some ideas how Linux documentation on the web should be. This is why I started this site. Here is what I think should apply to every tutorial on the web.
- There are no experts. Being an expert enables you to learn even more from a given text. As an expert, you read something and you find things that really "everyone should know".
- Be practical. When I searched for "use camcorders with Linux" in the web, I just wanted to know which application to start to connect my camcorder and transfer the video. One article I found was three pages long, started explaining that with Linux, everything is modular and thus better, then went on to a rant about Microsoft, explained how to compile a Linux 2.2 kernel so firewire works and ended with an explanation that Linux is better than Windows. It just forgot to mention which program to start. Always tell the program to start for a given application.
- fetch the reader from where he is. When I was teaching Linux, people were asking how to use ls to find the size of a directory. Now you cannot find this out with ls, you need to use du. But as long as you do not know du, you will not look it up. And as soon as you know du, you will not need to look it up, because you know it already. So, the consequence is, when writing a tutorial on ls, make a link to du in it, about like this:
To find out a directories' size, do not use ls, but du
Also make a link to du into your article on directory. Similar thing: You use ethtool to find out if a network cable is plugged into your network card. "Link detected = Yes" means there is a cable (with link), "Link detected = No" yet does not mean there is no cable. It can also mean the network card is not active. Tell the reader.
- Man pages are not enough. Or is there a man page "how_to_install_linux_on_a_usb_disk" and man how_to_use_a_camcorder_with_Linux and man how_to_setup_a_webcam_with_Linux?
- Man pages give you a fraud security to know something. Read e.g. addr2line's man page and tell me why addr2line /bin/bash 200 does not work. You cannot tell from the man page.
- Think out of the box. When I write a bash scripting tutorial I also explain wc, grep and awk although these are - in an academic sense - not part of the bash. However, in practical life you cannot script bash well without knowing about how it interfaces with these tools.
- Wikipedia is not enough. Wikipedia says about itself it is not a tutorial.
How was it done
Due to massive spam I had to disallow registration to this wiki. If you want to register, read on.
Want to join us
You want to write an own article on here? Help improve other articles? Then please write a mail to dev at staerk dot de with the subject "account for linuxintro". Sorry for the inconvenience but there were massive spamming attacks when editing was allowed to everybody.