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From "Joshua Slive" <jos...@slive.ca>
Subject RE: help getting help - Re-> the best way.
Date Mon, 31 Dec 2001 17:15:11 GMT
Thanks for your comments.  I have forwarded them along to the documentation
project list.  The problem is always lots of ideas, but not enough time to
properly write and maintain docs.

I am hesitant to just go throwing tons of new things in the docs if we don't
know that they will be maintained in the future.  Some of the apache
documentation dates back more than five years.

A few more comments inline below.

> From: justken [mailto:justken@rogers.com]

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

Yes, the documentation was originally written for people already running a
webserver (NCSA httpd in particular) wanting to upgrade to apache.  The
documentation always needs to assume some base level, but perhaps it is a
little too high at the moment.

>
> what i would like to have before i started:
>
> 1) it would be helpful to have an archive of this apache list.

Actually, this list is brand new, so it doesn't have much of an archive yet.
But there is a little bit, plus there is a big usenet archive.  They are
both linked from here:
http://httpd.apache.org/userslist.html#archives

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

Good idea.  But time consuming to create and maintain.

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

To be honest, I'm not sure exactly what you mean here.  Most of the stuff in
the FAQ applies to all OSes.

>
> some things that would be great now that i'm at first base:
>
> 1) i'd love to see "optimization" information, or "the best way
> to..." stuff.

In general, I think the job of the docs is to show the advantages and
disadvantages of each different way of doing things, not necessarily to say
"you should do it this way".  The "shoulds" would be more appropriate from
third-party books, etc.

> 2) i'd love to see a "deprecated" list

I assume you mean you want clearer documentation on what has changed between
versions.  This is certainly a problem area, I agree.  The CHANGES file is
the only relatively complete list, and I most users aren't going to want to
read through that.

> 3) examples of working servers!

There are lots of config excerpts in the docs, but not many complete
examples.  The problem here is that there are so many different
possibilities, that it is difficult to create examples that will work for
people.

> final observations (wow, you got this far - cool, thanks) I found
> the move
> from single ip hosting, where i pointed my name to my server was very
> simple, but making the switch to Virtual hosting, was totally
> confusing.

The documentation on name-based virtual hosting was rewritten a few months
ago.  Is it any clearer now?  Are there specific confusing things you can
point to?  (Specific is always more helpful than general.)

Joshua.


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