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From Graham <gra...@tecknet.net>
Subject Re: FW: help getting help - Re-> the best way.
Date Mon, 31 Dec 2001 19:06:27 GMT
Hello Joshua,
Dear all,
     this too should begin with for what it's worth. I must say that i
     concurr wholeheartedly with Ken's tome. If i have any single
     criticism it is this, both this list and the docs largely ASSUME
     we understand what we are doing, it is ASSUMED that i understand
     Unix. Well i don't, i would very much like to, but life is short,
     my brain has a finite capacity and i have a family who like to
     eat. It would not occur to me to use anything other than Apache
     on the network I administer, but it is a small network and we use
     Apache on our Intranet, I must use NT 4 server, that is what my
     employer has ergo i must use the windows installation of Apache,
     this will change next year (tomorrow!) as i am now comfortable
     enough to go live with my Linux box and be sure that i have a
     reasonable chance of fixing it. I, as i am sure there are more in
     a similar situation, don't have a support team, i AM the support
     team. I cannot go down any corridor and ask somebody, i find
     myself very much on my own and my knowlage is gleaned from doc's,
     manuals, newsgroups and the Internet in general. It is only
     because computing is first and foremost a hobby and a passion
     that i have got this far, that it is also my means of sustaining
     my family is largely incidental.
     Yes, i have ranted, but the new year is upon us. I would very
     much like to help. I really believe that if only fewer
     assumptions were made, i could really understand more, faster.
     You may ask what sort of help a person who doesn't understand
     Unix could offer, well i am fluent in both Spanish and German for
     a start. If i had some sort of clue as to what i was looking at
     in the first instance, i would have a realistic chance of
     translating into another language so that others would be able to
     understand also.

     Happy New Year to Everybody.

     regards  Graham Burns.

     
Monday, December 31, 2001, 5:02:13 PM, you wrote:

JS> For what it's worth, here's another novice user perspective.  It seems to
JS> largely agree with what we discussed last time around.

JS> What we need is some way to put ideas like this into concrete changes in the
JS> docs.

JS> Joshua.

JS> -----Original Message-----
JS> From: justken [mailto:justken@rogers.com]
JS> Sent: December 31, 2001 3:32 AM
JS> To: users@httpd.apache.org
JS> Subject: help getting help - Re-> the best way.


JS> my 2 cents. actaully - it's about 5 bucks worth here, but hey! if you don't
JS> have time to read, skip the explanations...

JS> i'm a novice user of apache and have managed to figure it out, at least how
JS> to get it to do most of what i need it for, primarily from the docs it
JS> ships with. although hours spent studying the very well commented .conf
JS> file have been most helpful - and of course good old trial and error in the
JS> end.

JS> often i don't even know, what i don't know. althogh this is my first post
JS> to any list about apache, i've been frustrated by the level of knowledge
JS> assumed by the documentation. i feel that i've learned a whole new
JS> language. the last time i set up a server system that was as challenging
JS> was on my apple iie for a multi line chat system, programmed entirely in
JS> call 151 assembly for my blazing fast 1200 baud hayes modem.

JS> what i would like to have before i started:

JS> 1) it would be helpful to have an archive of this apache list.
JS>   before i started setting up apache, i was using (don't laugh) PWS on
JS> WinME, there was no reason for me to subscribe to this list. it wasn't
JS> until recently when i started having problems with apache, and after
JS> repeatedly reaching a dead end, that i subscribed. now i am somewhat web
JS> aware, and didn't just pop on the list and post my questions. however the
JS> temptation is GREAT! i want instant solutions to impossible problems, and
JS> don't even speak the apache language (in fact, i don't even speak unix,
JS> which may be appalling to many of you.)  and have no idea the history of
JS> the list. I'm sure that within the past year, many many newbies have met
JS> the same problems i have, so, like myself, subscribed to the list, seen not
JS> too much about installing stuff, and suddenly gone question crazy. asking
JS> questions just answered days or weeks ago.

JS> 2) a glossary of terms that also covers some of the more obscure "unix"
JS> terms.
JS> usually reserved for servers, and serving related stuff. like "virtual
JS> hosting", "NT service", "httpd" - has anyone looked at the man page for
JS> that term??? it's entirely in greek!!

JS> 3) break the faq up into OS specific stuff.
JS>   often i have used the browser search to look for stuff, only to find it's
JS> qualified as an OS specific problem. yeah yeah, i know how much work that
JS> is, but it's possible, and really - we wouldn't want win2k diehards and
JS> unix diehards in the same room, do we really want them bopping each other
JS> on the head in these forums?

JS> some things that would be great now that i'm at first base:

JS> 1) i'd love to see "optimization" information, or "the best way to..."
JS> stuff.
JS>   i have some stuff that works - but i really have no idea why. I have some
JS> stuff that worked, then didn't work, now works again. and i still haven't
JS> figured out what i did to change any of it. i have some stuff that doesn't
JS> work at all, but i've got a work around or "second best solution" where i'm
JS> sure there must be a better way but just don't have the patience to
JS> continue trying to figure it out, when there are more important things to
JS> consider like the web content that is supposed to be served..

JS> 2) i'd love to see a "deprecated" list
JS> - or more clearly labeled  stuff in the conf file, i spent HOURS and HOURS
JS> trying to get coldfusion working after moving my server to a new hard
JS> drive, only to find out that the mod's list had changed formats and the
JS> loadmodule for coldfusion came before a command to remove all modules in
JS> favour of a new way of adding modules - i still don't understand what that
JS> is all about, but it's working now and if it ain't broke... don't fix. I
JS> found the answer scouring the dregs of usenet posts and stumbled upon a
JS> similar problem, and made the discovery that hey - there is this new
JS> command, and the old stuff is all deprecated.

JS> 3) examples of working servers!
JS> i've seen plenty of requests before, in other groups,
JS> _post_some_examples!!!_ yeah, those... hey, i could post "bad examples that
JS> work", i have managed to get multiple virtual hosts happening, but i still
JS> can't figure out how to give them there own unique cgi bin, i can't get pdf
JS> files to be served from a folder in the cgi-bin path, and i can't get my
JS> default ip or www to serve without duplicating it in the virtual host
JS> directory with this installation (it worked before). i lost my root log
JS> files, till i forced them into a subfolder in my cgi-bin. i'm serving a lot
JS> of perl using "activestate perl" and have heard a lot of talk about mod
JS> perl, and am terrified to open that can of worms, lest a fish i'm not
JS> prepared for, completely overwhelms me, and i end up serving from my apple
JS> iie again.

JS> final observations (wow, you got this far - cool, thanks) I found the move
JS> from single ip hosting, where i pointed my name to my server was very
JS> simple, but making the switch to Virtual hosting, was totally confusing. i
JS> still don't think i've got things right, but they work, and i'm ok with
JS> that. i use apache as a development server, not a production server, so
JS> it's not critical that performance be optimized, BUT - the perfectionist in
JS> my would like to see it go that way.

JS> what i need as a novice user, and one not willing to spend $75 (canadian)
JS> taking my chances with a book on configuring Apache, is a set of guidelines
JS> in plain english, or linked to a clear glossary of terms,  context and
JS> keyword search of faq and doc's, and get the clear information onto the
JS> index page of the apache.org site, we shouldn't have to go hunting for it.
JS> (or from the online doc's included in the install).
JS> Something that is more OS specific than the general docs.
JS> and a decent archive of the questions that we newbies ask - faq's tend to
JS> be too technical, and often i don't know where to look - until there is a
JS> "my server failed to start, i've tried everything and i'm tired a
JS> frustrated, and i'm dieing here... what do i do?" question in the faq, with
JS> the correct answer...

JS> hope this helps you guys help us get the help we need.
JS> thanks.

JS> ken easson
JS> justken.net
JS> justken@rogers.com
JS> justken web programming and technical support.


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-- 
Best regards,
 Graham                            mailto:graham@tecknet.net

This communication contains information which is confidential and may also
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