In reply to Jordan K. Hubbard who said
> > > Bollocks. You've obviously been away from the coalface _much_ too long.
> > What you on about?
> This was an allusion to the fact that you haven't been out in your
> back yard in Wales recently, Paul. Go outside and see what's
> happening! :-)
There's no coalfields left in S. Wales, govt shut them all :-(
Ohh and you're right, I haven't been out in my backyard in Wales for quite
some time, been working in England for nearly 6 months, no wonder I'm
> No, I think he actually meant this as a metaphor (which I've generally
> heard used by british programmers, actually) - being "at the coalface"
> means to be working at a much lower level, usually as some peon
> just-out-of-university programmer who's struggling to pick away at a
> set of problems that are totally new and different and right in his
Hmm, never come across that one.
> As I've already said in another email, from my perspective I just want
> things that are _self documenting_ in the installation path so that
> you don't have to reach for a stack of books just to install the
> system. If you had vi and some sort of "helper" app that actually
> showed you the keymap and basic usage instructions in a side window
> somehow, I'd happily use it here.
Well, I'm perhaps getting this completely wrong. Are we just talking
about the installation procedure or the tasks that need to be done
after installation is finished and you actually log in?
I thought that *most* of the initial setup tasks would be covered by
sysinstall and that when you come to log in you're basically ready to
go. During installation I agree that a simple editor is needed but I
think when you come to actually log in for the first time things should
be as you'd find them on a "generic" unix box. If you need to continue
using the "easier" editor then the first thing you probably need to
learn is how to change the default editor since you'll have to do it on
any other box you may end up working on.
Once everything's up and running EDITOR should be undefined by default.
There perhaps needs to be a post-installation tips file, perhaps a
message spouted from .login or motd that explains what to do. At least
that way we educate new users as to what they need to do rather than
making them think that's how it always is with unix.
I actually quite liked the Ultrix "learn" command (was it in BSD originally?).
After a couple of days going through learn I was hooked on vi and could
generally find my way around. Maybe something similar would be a good
project for someone to do for FreeBSD, maybe not teaching vi but going
through a set of basic tutorials to set up a working environment etc.
Thinking about it, the other thing I found usefull in my early days were the
small ringbound Sun intro booklets that did exactly that, explained how
to set up a working environment etc from an users point of view rather than
an admins which is the sort of level we're talking about after sysinstall
Paul Richards. Originative Solutions Ltd. (Netcraft Ltd. contractor)
Elsevier Science TIS online journal project.
Phone: 0370 462071 (Mobile), +44 (0)1865 843155