ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009 - Slackware

This is a discussion on ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009 - Slackware ; -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 On 2008-08-27, Sylvain Robitaille wrote: >> The book must be of use not only to people new to Slackware, but to >> people new to Linux (and maybe even new to computers all together). ...

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Thread: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

  1. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

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    On 2008-08-27, Sylvain Robitaille wrote:
    >> The book must be of use not only to people new to Slackware, but to
    >> people new to Linux (and maybe even new to computers all together).
    >> Leaving out things like vi and emacs[0] would make the book very
    >> useless to them. ...

    >
    > There are so many good sources of information out there for Unix/Linux
    > beginners that aren't specific to any Linux distribution (indeed some
    > aren't specific even to Linux), that it seems difficult to imagine
    > pointing someone to the Slackware book first. If they're that new,
    > chances are they're dealing with a system that has already been
    > installed for them, and needing now only to learn how to use it.


    I think you're making a lot of assumptions that aren't true in all
    cases. I've received lots of thanks since the release of the second
    edition from people all around the world. Volunteer efforts translated
    the book and released it. In developing countries without Internet
    access or many books on computer subjects, the slack book was used to
    teach adults the basics of Linux/UNIX/Slackware. In situations like
    these, you literally have to break it down into the smallest pieces.

    And even if the computer has been installed for them, the Slack Book
    covers much more than just the installation.

    > Do you
    > honestly believe your book can compete with Harley Hahn's (for example)?


    Never heard of him, and I suspect I'm in the vast majority there. He
    may have published the greatest book of all time for all I know, but if
    I haven't heard of him a newbie certainly hasn't.

    >> ... The book is being organized not to differentiate between what's
    >> Slackware and what's generic, but rather to begin with what a newbie
    >> most likely needs to know and work up to harder concepts. Basically
    >> after the prelude we get to the installer, then booting (I have no
    >> idea how many newbies messed up dual-boot stuff with the old book, but
    >> I suspect it's a lot), basic shell stuff and bash, then onto X, and
    >> printing.

    >
    > ... and it will distinguish itself from Matt Welsh's book how?


    Seeing as how I haven't read "Running Linux" I am not in a position
    currently to answer that question.

    > Don't get me wrong. It isn't that I don't appreciate that you're
    > intending to create something that will be useful to others, but I
    > honestly wonder about the need for it.


    I don't wonder about the need for it. There may be better options
    available to people. Hell when we got started doing the second
    edition, there were certainly better options for learning about Linux,
    but none specific to Slackware. And that's what people were looking
    for! There were many people who wanted the slackbook updated because
    it's what they wanted to use even if it wasn't the best available
    source of information.

    Newbies aren't looking for a book on generic Linux (well, at least some
    of them aren't); they're looking for a book on Slackware. It's really
    that simple. Even if the alternatives are "better", they either don't
    know about the alternatives, don't like them, or found them too
    confusing.

    - --
    It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise,
    Than for a man to hear the song of fools.
    Ecclesiastes 7:5
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  2. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    +Alan Hicks+ wrote:

    > ... I've received lots of thanks since the release of the second
    > edition from people all around the world. Volunteer efforts
    > translated the book and released it. ...


    Ok, so I gather than that the Slackware book is itself released under
    some sort of "open-source" license, making it imminently more accessible
    than traditional books, including those I've been mentioning. There's
    value in that, I agree, but ...

    > In developing countries without Internet access or many books on
    > computer subjects, the slack book was used to teach adults the basics
    > of Linux/UNIX/Slackware. In situations like these, you literally have
    > to break it down into the smallest pieces.


    Realistically, what are people in developing countries with no access to
    the Internet going to do with knowledge about Linux or Unix (let alone
    Slackware-specific knowledge)? It's a complete failing of the culture in
    our "developed" countries that we prioritize ensuring these people have
    access to computers (with no network access) when we should instead be
    pooling resources to ensure that they have sufficient access to food,
    clean water, medicine, and basic education, because "in developing
    countries without Internet access" these things tend to also be rather
    scarce. That commentary is off-topic, though ...

    > And even if the computer has been installed for them, the Slack Book
    > covers much more than just the installation.


    Yes, I know, but my point was that other books, such as (but not
    limited to) Harley Hahn's, cover beginner user material extremely well,
    so yet another book covering that same material (when it might do better
    to cover different material that is not so well covered elsewhere) seems
    to me like not such a great idea.

    >> Do you honestly believe your book can compete with Harley Hahn's (for
    >> example)?

    >
    > Never heard of him, and I suspect I'm in the vast majority there.


    Don't you think it would be in your interest to examine what books have
    already been published that cover the material you're writing about.
    How is a reader supposed to believe that your book is particularly well
    researched if you don't know about other books covering the same (and
    similar) material? Harley Hahn's books may be better known in academic
    circles than in the mainstream. They're well worth reading, even if the
    material is nothing more than review (and isn't Linux-specific).

    > ... if I haven't heard of him a newbie certainly hasn't.


    I don't see how that follows. I picked up a copy of one of his books
    when *I* was a newbie to Unix, and recommended it (and another one that
    we had at the time in our library) to newbies for years later. That you
    haven't heard of him doesn't suggest to me that he's unknown, but rather
    that you haven't researched the book you're writing (or maybe that you
    haven't been around Unix and Linux long enough to *be* writing about it).

    > Seeing as how I haven't read "Running Linux" I am not in a position
    > currently to answer that question.


    Ditto my response above.

    I haven't read newer versions of Running Linux, nor "Linux Installation
    and Getting Started" that preceded it, and I know that others have
    reported lesser impressions of the newer versions than I have of the first
    edition, but were I looking to write a book on any topic, I certainly
    would be spending some time in a library (or a few) checking out what
    already has been published on the topic.

    There isn't much point re-writing what has already been written, unless
    you feel you have something new to add, or simply feel that you can
    do it better, but both those scenarios depend on your knowing what has
    already been written.

    > ... Hell when we got started doing the second edition, there were
    > certainly better options for learning about Linux, but none specific
    > to Slackware. ...


    Hrmmmm... A quick glance on Amazon.Com suggests that Slackware Linux
    Essentails 2nd Edition was published on Jun 1, 2005. Is that correct?

    Assuming that's correct, let's see what else Amazon lists as being
    published before that date (with no prejudice towards whether any of
    these would be "good" or "bad", let alone "better" or "worse" than
    Slackware Linux Essentials 2nd Edition) ...

    Slackware LINUX for Dummies (with CD-ROM) by Paul Gallegos
    (Paperback - Mar 15, 2000)

    (hrmmm ... I tend to be very fond of the "... for Dummies" books;
    perhaps I'll pick up a copy of that one for that reason alone!)

    Slackware Linux Unleashed (Unleashed) by Bao Ha, Tina Nguyen, and
    Patrick St. Jean (Paperback - Dec 22, 1999)

    Linux Bible, 2005 Edition by Christopher Negus
    (Paperback - Feb 4, 2005)

    (devotes a chapter to Slackware-specific information, according to
    the abstract; probably not very far out of date with the then-current
    Slackware, and likely covers a lot of Linux basics; probably not
    published until after you had started on SLE2E, but since I don't know
    when that was, I'm including this one.)

    Install, Configure, and Customize Slackware LINUX (with CD-ROM)
    by Joe Zonker Brockmeier and Jacek Artymiak (Paperback - Jan 15, 2000)

    Slackware Linux Unleashed by Tim Parker (Paperback - Jan 1997)

    The Slackware Linux Installation by Matt Welsh (Paperback - Jun 1996)

    Linux: Configuration and Installation (Mis Press Slackware Series) by
    Patrick Volkerding, Kevin Reichard, and Eric F. Johnson
    (Paperback - Aug 1996)

    Linux System Commands by Patrick Volkerding and Kevin Reichard
    (Paperback - April 4, 2000)

    > And that's what people were looking for!


    The above listing was selected from the first third of the (204) results
    of a keyword search on Amazon.com for "Slackware Linux" narrowing the
    search down to books published prior to June 2005. Certainly if I'd
    been looking for a Slackware Linux book around that time I likely would
    have found and selected at least three of those ...

    > Newbies aren't looking for a book on generic Linux (well, at least some
    > of them aren't); they're looking for a book on Slackware.


    But you said yourself that the next edition of Slackware Linux Essentials
    would not differentiate between what is generic Linux knowledge and what
    is Slackware-specific (implying, of course that the book will contain
    general Linux information), and in fact most (all?) of what you listed
    as topics being worked on or considered really aren't Slackware-specific
    at all.

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvain Robitaille syl@alcor.concordia.ca

    Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

  3. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    On Sat, 30 Aug 2008, Sylvain Robitaille wrote:

    > Slackware LINUX for Dummies (with CD-ROM) by Paul Gallegos
    > (Paperback - Mar 15, 2000)
    >
    > (hrmmm ... I tend to be very fond of the "... for Dummies" books;
    > perhaps I'll pick up a copy of that one for that reason alone!)
    >

    I got a copy of that at a clearance table at Indigo in January of
    2001. I had installed Debian (on that 8meg ram/240meg hard drive
    486 that I paid ten dollars for) and since it didn't have Pine (which
    is what I was used to) and I was too much of a beginner, I was
    looking for a different distribution. The Dummies book was cheap,
    I saw that Slackware (7.0 was included) had Pine, and there I went.

    I think it was a fair introduction. I think it included the important
    things like "run updatedb after the install, and then you can use
    locate to find things). Of course, like a lot of books, much of the
    text was about installing Linux.

    WHat I do wonder is how much of a template it uses. A lot of Linux
    books seem to have a fixed format, and then they merely change the
    specifics according to the distribution.

    One thing about the Dummies series is that the cover price tends
    to be lower than many LInux books. "Running Linux" is close to
    sixty dollars in Canada, so I'm not convinced I really need
    the latest edition. If you can get enough from the Dummies book
    to get started, then likely it is a good choice; after you have
    a certain level of familiarity, you can find information other
    ways.

    The problem is that LInux is big, and once you've done the install
    and got some of the basic commands down, there's not that much
    about using it. So if I wanted to know about Gimp, it's not there.
    ANd of course, it's dated (and of finite size) so when I got a USB
    scanner some years later, the book didn't cover it.

    I seem to collect Unix/Linux books (cheap at clearances and book sales
    and even once on top of someone's recycling bin), so I have quite
    the collection. A lot of the books do suffer. Up front, they look
    useful, but then when you need to find something, it's not there.
    In part because they are older editions, but that's not it completely.
    I got a copy of "LInux System Administration Unleashed", and bought
    it because it looked useful. Then, it turns out to have a lot of
    wasted space as it goes through the distributions. Every time something
    comes up, they go through the major distributions "Slackware does it
    this way, Redhat does it that way, Debian does it a third way" but it
    doesn't work. It's nitpicking on unimportant differences, and not
    dealing with important ones.

    Michael


  4. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    On Sat, 30 Aug 2008 05:40:58 +0000, Sylvain Robitaille wrote:

    > Ok, so I gather than that the Slackware book is itself released under
    > some sort of "open-source" license, making it imminently more accessible
    > than traditional books, including those I've been mentioning. There's
    > value in that, I agree, but ...


    Sylvain, it's not only about licences. The Slack book comes with the
    distro, and is free to read and use. None of the other books that you
    mention are included with Slackware. This is a significant distinction.

    Given that, Alan's original question may be rephrased as: "How can the
    Slackware book be made more useful to Slackware users?" Yes, one can
    have endless debates about whether some sections of the book are
    redundant for certain classes of reader, but that is true of any book.
    Don't need to have {networking | the shell | partitioning | other}
    explained to you? Skip that chapter. That doesn't mean there's any harm
    in having it in the book.

  5. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    Sylvain Robitaille wrote:
    > +Alan Hicks+ wrote:
    >
    >> The book must be of use not only to people new to Slackware, but to
    >> people new to Linux (and maybe even new to computers all together).
    >> Leaving out things like vi and emacs[0] would make the book very
    >> useless to them. ...

    >
    > There are so many good sources of information out there for Unix/Linux
    > beginners that aren't specific to any Linux distribution (indeed some
    > aren't specific even to Linux), that it seems difficult to imagine
    > pointing someone to the Slackware book first. If they're that new,
    > chances are they're dealing with a system that has already been
    > installed for them, and needing now only to learn how to use it. Do you
    > honestly believe your book can compete with Harley Hahn's (for example)?


    I didn't get the impression Alan was looking to write a general intro
    to *nix book, but instead a Slackware specific one that covers some enough
    of the basics to get started with - kind of like the current Slackware
    book(s). I might be missing something here though - I'm not familiar wth
    Hahn's book and didn't know there were other up to date Slackware oriented
    books out there.

    Myself, I don't see the need for a complete rewrite. I would say
    update the book to meet the current installation, and possibly add
    new sections covering additional system config. The reason why the
    group effort on the original rewrite fell apart is too many people
    bit off way more than they could chew, and lost interest over time.

    As for general Linux, I agree there are plenty of great resources already
    out there - trying to match something like the rute book would more or
    less simply be an exercise for the author to better hone his own skills,
    than fill a need in the open source documentation world.

    To Alan, honestly, if this is to be a complete rewrite, I would name it
    something else so the current version can continue to be updated. It is a
    good, simple, and quick guide to getting started with Slackware Linux. One
    of the nice things about it is it doesn't take a lot of time to read the
    entire book, yet it is packed with a great deal of useful information.

    - Kurt

  6. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    +Alan Hicks+ writes:

    > Yeap, that's right. Work has begun on a new Slackware Book to replace
    > Slackware Linux Essentials 2nd Edition. Very little details have been


    Glad to read that. Hopefully the price won't be too high this time...

  7. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    On Sun, 31 Aug 2008 10:14:46 +0200, Xavier Maillard wrote:

    > +Alan Hicks+ writes:
    >
    >> Yeap, that's right. Work has begun on a new Slackware Book to replace
    >> Slackware Linux Essentials 2nd Edition. Very little details have been

    >
    > Glad to read that. Hopefully the price won't be too high this time...


    It's already free, do you want to be paid to read it?

    ;-)

  8. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    Glyn Millington trolled:
    > +Alan Hicks+ writes:


    >> Yeap, that's right. Work has begun on a new Slackware Book to
    >> replace Slackware Linux Essentials 2nd Edition. Very little
    >> details have been released just yet.


    Perhaps that's because the book contains very few details worth
    releasing...

    >> The new book is a complete rewrite from scratch with nothing[0].


    > Really good news :-)


    We still haven't yet figured out how to use digital toilet paper.

    cordially, as always,

    rm

  9. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    Keith Keller trolled:

    > If I may, the point of The Book is to be one book for a relative
    > beginner to get started with Slackware. So it pretty much needs
    > to cover the non-Slackware specific parts of linux/UNIX or a
    > newbie would be pretty lost.


    Can you point out the "relative beginner" to linux who doesn't need
    help with his printer?

    > The book itself could be divided into "Slackware" and "Linux",
    > though that may not be an easy division to make.


    How about a section on windoze? At least enough to remind the
    reader that he or she has made a huge mistake...

    cordially, as always,

    rm

  10. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    +Alan Hicks+ trolled:

    pgp trash troll delete

    > The book must be of use not only to people new to Slackware, but
    > to people new to Linux (and maybe even new to computers all
    > together). Leaving out things like vi and emacs[0] would make the
    > book very useless to them. "Open your text editor." "What the
    > hell's a text editor?"


    How about a section on printers? Perhaps the fact that you have yet
    to get a printer running with slackware has something to do with
    your lack of knowledge. Or is it the other way around?

    Why don't you tell the kiddies that any printer that doesn't run
    postscript ain't worth buying. Isn't that still the party line?

    > It's not. The book is being organized not to differentiate
    > between what's Slackware and what's generic, but rather to begin
    > with what a newbie most likely needs to know and work up to harder
    > concepts.


    You're trying way too hard. If you have any useful facts to relate,
    relate the useful facts.

    > Basically after the prelude we get to the installer, then booting
    > (I have no idea how many newbies messed up dual-boot stuff with
    > the old book, but I suspect it's a lot), basic shell stuff and
    > bash, then onto X, and printing. This should be all the newbie
    > needs to know to get his hardware setup correctly.[1] From there
    > we go into basic sysadmin stuff like managing users and groups,
    > filesystem permissions, mounting, vi, emacs, etc. Some of this
    > will be touched on earlier in a simpler manner of course, with
    > references to these chapters.


    All of this bull**** is a simple con to hide the fact that your sum
    total of knowledge about slackware/linux wouldn't take enough paper
    to wipe away the residue of your brains from my ass after a good
    dump.

    Bugger off.

    cordially, as always,

    rm

  11. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    andrew trolled:
    > On 2008-08-27, +Alan Hicks+ wrote:
    >
    >> Yeap, that's right. Work has begun on a new Slackware Book to replace
    >> Slackware Linux Essentials 2nd Edition. Very little details have been
    >> released just yet.

    >
    > Great news. I printed the book off and kept it close in my first foray
    > through slackware. I shall make a point of _buying_ the new edition when
    > it come out.


    But only if it is no more expensive than the cheapest toilet paper.
    Keep in mind that Sears catalogs are still free...

    cordially, as always,

    rm

  12. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    Keith Keller trolled:
    > On 2008-08-27, Sylvain Robitaille wrote:
    >>
    >> I realize that Matt Welsh's book has become very non-Slackware specific,
    >> but it appears to still be a very complete, very informational book.

    >
    > FWIW I haven't liked recent additions of Welsh's book. I wish I could
    > explain why, but I really can't put my finger on it.


    The only reason you "haven't liked" Welsh's book is because you and
    the Hillbilly are members of the same club.

    cordially, as always,

    rm

  13. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    JohnF trolled:

    > Yes, that's basically my thought, too. Although I purchased both
    > editions of Slackware Linux Essentials, and they remain within
    > easy reach, it's never occurred to me to look at them for answers
    > to the occasional vi question. Ditto for shell questions, etc.
    > But they're the first place I look for pkgtool questions, etc.


    What possible question could you have about pkgtool that you would
    have to look up in a book?

    > Hasn't the "new linux user" market been taken over by Ubuntu (and
    > similar distributions)? The latest (rather than earliest)
    > professionally published Slackware book I have is Sams' Slackware
    > Linux Unleashed from 2000 (are there any more recent ones?).
    > Nowadays, bookstores carry zero Slackware books, whereas there
    > are about half a dozen Ubuntu books on Barnes&Noble's shelves
    > (far and away the greatest number for any specific distribution).


    The only people who currently use slackware all know far more about
    linux and the distro than The Coward does. If there was a _real_
    need for such a book, PV would write it himself, or at least give
    the task to someone with a 3 digit IQ.

    cordially, as always,

    rm

  14. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    Mark Madsen wrote:

    > ... The Slack book comes with the distro, and is free to read and use.
    > None of the other books that you mention are included with Slackware.
    > This is a significant distinction.


    A point that I had not considered. Thank you for raising it.

    > Given that, Alan's original question may be rephrased as: "How can the
    > Slackware book be made more useful to Slackware users?" ...


    Fair enough. I suppose what I've been trying to get at is why would an
    experienced Slackware user (of course I'm thinking of myself specifically,
    but I think the generalization works) choose to purchase this book,
    even if only for the financial support that doing so would offer. If it
    amounts to no new information, of course, there's very little incentive
    to purchase it, or even read the included copy.

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvain Robitaille syl@alcor.concordia.ca

    Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

  15. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    ~kurt wrote:

    > I didn't get the impression Alan was looking to write a general intro
    > to *nix book, but instead a Slackware specific one that covers some
    > enough of the basics to get started with - kind of like the current
    > Slackware book(s).


    I believe the intention is to update the current book, yes, but that he
    was looking for feedback that he could use to improve it at the same time.
    I took "improve" to mean "make more useful" and have tried, perhaps in
    a rather rough manner, to suggest how it would seem more useful to me
    (and hopefully others as well). That is to say, I've tried to suggest
    that it not repeat information that's already out there (in some cases
    very well presented), but rather to focus on the elements that are unique
    to Slackware.

    > I might be missing something here though - I'm not familiar wth Hahn's
    > book and didn't know there were other up to date Slackware oriented
    > books out there.


    I don't think there are, at least not any that are particularly
    Slackware-specific. Then again, how much Slackware-specific knowledge
    is required to manage a Slackware system (especially for a beginner)?
    There's very little about Slackware Linux that is Slackware-specific;
    that's the point.

    > ... trying to match something like the rute book would more or less
    > simply be an exercise for the author to better hone his own skills,
    > than fill a need in the open source documentation world.


    Another point I had not considered, and certainly one that would be
    valid. I don't have the impression that this is Alan's goal, but
    certainly if it were, it could be seen as a reasonable answer to the
    points I've been making.

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvain Robitaille syl@alcor.concordia.ca

    Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

  16. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    I just found this thread after my vacations...
    Sylvain Robitaille wrote (Tue, 02 Sep 2008 15:28:11 +0000):
    >
    > ... That is to say, I've tried
    > to suggest that it not repeat information that's already out there (in
    > some cases very well presented), but rather to focus on the elements
    > that are unique to Slackware.
    >

    I think, that approach creates the problem many people have with linux
    and slack. When you are a newb, you start to read smthg. distribution
    specific, and find out that you do not understand it. Then you start
    reading something else, which makes the concepts clear, but (in most
    cases) uses an approach not in line with what you already started to find
    out in your original book. The tiny details ruin a beginner's effort.
    This results in confusion and overload and a distinct reluctance to
    continue.

    In this situation, a book that guides one into exactly what one is doing
    at the moment is priceless in that situation. I've been there - like,
    probably, most of us. Collecting basic knowledge from a number of
    inconsistent sources is a true pita. Therefore, the slackbook and its
    approach to cover the typical pitfalls for newcomers is extremely
    important.

    What you would like is a completely different book, but also much more of
    an effort. You would have to collect a huge amount of details about
    everything, much of which would be useless for most users. Probably a
    wiki about slack-details would be much more helpful.

    Sorry if that came to be very long...

    Godd luck
    Franz

  17. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    On Fri, 29 Aug 2008 16:34:26 +0000, +Alan Hicks+ wrote:

    > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    > Hash: SHA1
    >
    > On 2008-08-27, Sylvain Robitaille wrote:
    >>> The book must be of use not only to people new to Slackware, but to
    >>> people new to Linux (and maybe even new to computers all together).
    >>> Leaving out things like vi and emacs[0] would make the book very
    >>> useless to them. ...

    >>
    >> There are so many good sources of information out there for Unix/Linux
    >> beginners that aren't specific to any Linux distribution (indeed some
    >> aren't specific even to Linux), that it seems difficult to imagine
    >> pointing someone to the Slackware book first. If they're that new,
    >> chances are they're dealing with a system that has already been
    >> installed for them, and needing now only to learn how to use it.

    >
    > I think you're making a lot of assumptions that aren't true in all
    > cases. I've received lots of thanks since the release of the second
    > edition from people all around the world. Volunteer efforts translated
    > the book and released it. In developing countries without Internet
    > access or many books on computer subjects, the slack book was used to
    > teach adults the basics of Linux/UNIX/Slackware. In situations like
    > these, you literally have to break it down into the smallest pieces.
    >
    > And even if the computer has been installed for them, the Slack Book
    > covers much more than just the installation.
    >
    >> Do you
    >> honestly believe your book can compete with Harley Hahn's (for
    >> example)?

    >
    > Never heard of him, and I suspect I'm in the vast majority there. He
    > may have published the greatest book of all time for all I know, but if
    > I haven't heard of him a newbie certainly hasn't.
    >
    >>> ... The book is being organized not to differentiate between what's
    >>> Slackware and what's generic, but rather to begin with what a newbie
    >>> most likely needs to know and work up to harder concepts. Basically
    >>> after the prelude we get to the installer, then booting (I have no
    >>> idea how many newbies messed up dual-boot stuff with the old book, but
    >>> I suspect it's a lot), basic shell stuff and bash, then onto X, and
    >>> printing.

    >>
    >> ... and it will distinguish itself from Matt Welsh's book how?

    >
    > Seeing as how I haven't read "Running Linux" I am not in a position
    > currently to answer that question.
    >
    >> Don't get me wrong. It isn't that I don't appreciate that you're
    >> intending to create something that will be useful to others, but I
    >> honestly wonder about the need for it.

    >
    > I don't wonder about the need for it. There may be better options
    > available to people. Hell when we got started doing the second edition,
    > there were certainly better options for learning about Linux, but none
    > specific to Slackware. And that's what people were looking for! There
    > were many people who wanted the slackbook updated because it's what they
    > wanted to use even if it wasn't the best available source of
    > information.
    >
    > Newbies aren't looking for a book on generic Linux (well, at least some
    > of them aren't); they're looking for a book on Slackware. It's really
    > that simple. Even if the alternatives are "better", they either don't
    > know about the alternatives, don't like them, or found them too
    > confusing.
    >
    > - --
    > It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, Than for a man to hear the
    > song of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:5
    > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
    > Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)
    >
    > iEYEARECAAYFAki4JREACgkQrZS6hX/gvjpd8gCfdNPx8jpMSp3KJRBonfGfi0Vi
    > X9oAoJ4iVKOTcCQsya7X7CQ8M9i/9B7S
    > =oXlF
    > -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----


    I've been working on a book that covers some of the more advanced stuff.
    I emailed Alan Hicks about it, maybe a year(ish) ago, but I didn't get
    any response.

    I was thinking about submitting it to a publisher since I thought that
    maybe the Slackbook project wasn't really going anymore. Plus, I'd like
    to get out of debt but that's another story. I've switched jobs and we
    are still struggling but doing better. Student loans, kid in college, on
    and on.

    If Alan reads this and he would like help, maybe he could contact me? I
    am a good writer and I use Latex if that helps. I have around 65 pages
    written so far. I expect it will be double that and a bit more when I'm
    through. I would be willing to submit it to the project, especially if
    he's willing to accept a little scope creep.

    The book is based on my notes from the past 4 years although I've been
    using Slackware for around 13 years now. The book in major flux,
    especially now that 12.1 came out. Some of the topic material is
    obsolete and covers earlier Slackware versions. Some of the sections are
    not really relevant anymore either, like Borland Kylix. That had a lot
    of buzz a few years ago, but has mostly died out now.

    The other major focus is on Java. Since I'm an enterprise Java developer
    for a living, I cover management of Glassfish and other Java related
    issues.

    It's not as comprehensive and general as the Slackware book but more of a
    cookbook approach on how specific tasks can be done. Many more sections
    are in the works right now.

    Here is a sample table of contents as it compiles out of Latex right now:

    1 A Brief Summary on Slackware 5
    2 The Best Download Servers 7
    3 Pre-Install 8
    3.1 Choosing the Right Kernel for Install . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
    3.2 Resize an NTFS Partition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
    3.3 How to Configure RAID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
    4 Install Notes 12
    4.1 Slackware Install and Swap Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
    4.2 Windows Only Understands Local Time . . . . . . . . . .12
    4.3 Disable GPM, Mouse Support on the Console . . . . . . .12
    4.4 LPRng or CUPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
    5 Post-Install 14
    5.1 Run the generic modular kernel with initrd.gz . . . . .14
    5.2 Custom Kernel Compilation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
    5.3 Activate Swap Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
    5.4 Fix Symbolic Links and fstab Entries . . . . . . . . . . .22
    5.5 udev and Hot Plugging Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
    6 Configuration for Desktops and Servers 23
    6.1 Add User Accounts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
    6.2 ndiswrapper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
    6.3 Configure printing for lprng . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
    6.3.1 Lexmark Z52 configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
    6.3.2 Laser Printers with ppd Files Available . . . . . .26
    6.4 ddclient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
    6.5 Atomic Clock Synchronization with ntpd . . . . . . . . .27
    6.6 System-wide customization with /etc/profile . . . . . .29
    6.7 Java Installation and Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
    6.8 Mono . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
    6.9 Borland Kylix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
    10 sysstat Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
    11 iptables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
    12 tripwire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
    Configuration for Desktops 34
    1 /etc/hosts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
    2 Graphical Logins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
    3 Multiple Graphical Logins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
    4 Mice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
    5 Add User Accounts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
    7.5.1 Setting Up User Environments . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
    7.5.2 File Manager Preview Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
    7.5.3 Preferred Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
    7.5.4 KPDF for the Default PDF Viewer . . . . . . . . . . . 37
    7.5.5 Default Web Browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
    7.5.6 Missing Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
    7.5.7 Con?gure E-Mail Accounts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
    6 Access to Your Windows Partition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
    7 LISa, the Lan Information Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
    8 Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
    9 Firefox Web Browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
    7.9.1 Install Firefox, 1st Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
    7.9.2 Install Firefox, 2nd Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
    10 Opera Web Browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
    11 Evolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
    12 Open Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
    7.12.1 Open Office 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
    7.12.2 Open Office 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
    13 Rip MP3s with Lame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
    14 k3b and CD/DVD Burning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
    15 File Sharing with amule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
    16 xmule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
    17 Kaffeine Video Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
    7.17.1 w32codecs for the Pesky Proprietary Formats . . . . . . . 43
    7.17.2 kaffeine-0.5-rc1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
    18 Graphics Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
    7.18.1 ATI Radeon Cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
    7.18.2 NVidia Cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
    19 Maple 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
    20 USB Universal Media Reader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
    21 IBConsole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
    22 Scibus Desktop Publishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
    23 hostap Wireless Driver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
    24 Wine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
    25 VMWare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
    26 Citrix VPN Client . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
    7.27 DVD::Rip . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
    7.28 Qt Cryptographic Architecture, qca-tls . . . . . . . . . 48
    7.29 VLC Media Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
    7.30 Win4Lin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
    7.31 Tora Database Client . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
    7.32 Lincity-ng . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
    7.33 KTorrent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
    8 Configuration for Servers 51
    8.1 Remote Graphical Logins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
    8.2 Samba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
    8.3 CVS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
    8.4 tin Console News Reader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
    8.5 FTP Service with proftpd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
    8.6 E-Mail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
    8.7 Bind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
    9 Databases 59
    9.1 Firebird . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
    9.1.1 JDBC Classes for Firebird . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
    9.2 MySQL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
    9.3 HSQLDB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
    9.4 Oracle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
    9.5 Postgres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
    10 Web and Java Application Servers 63
    10.1 Apache Httpd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63
    11 Development Environments 65
    11.1 Apache Ant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65

    I tried to fix all the ligatures in this output in case you find a
    typo ;-)

    I don't know if there is any interest in this kind of a thing besides my
    own. I'm going to finish it no matter what because I use it.

    Richard Scott Smith

  18. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    On 2008-08-30, Mark Madsen wrote:
    > Given that, Alan's original question may be rephrased as: "How can the
    > Slackware book be made more useful to Slackware users?"


    The one item I'd like to see in the revised slack book is the inclusion of
    a detailed section on how slack boots up. Which files are initiated first,
    how to reboot certain aspects of the system without a cold reboot, etc.
    This page has long been in my bookmarks:

    http://openskill.info/infobox.php?ID=1042

    .....couldn't hurt to put something similar in The Book.

    Also, we need a very thorough chapter on the whole hotplug/udev/hald thing.
    I've read till I'm blue and still don't understand how they work or how to
    write udev rules. Fortunately, I simply said yes to all things
    hotplug/udev/hald and networking during install and all worked with no help
    from me. Thank you, Pat V! But, it bugs me to still not understand it.

    Another thing. How to decrypt some of the gibberish. lspci and lsusb and
    dmesg are all fine tools, but useless if one can't uderstand their output.
    I might just be able to write a udev rule if I knew what I was looking at
    when I read lsusb. Actually, I'm getting pretty good at it, but some basics
    along these lines couldn't hurt. Simple stuff like, "0xe000 is a memory
    location in octal" (it is, isn't it?. You get my drift.

    If slack is going to be the distro that teaches how to get one's linux hands
    dirty, the manual definitely needs some more grease.

    nb




  19. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    On Wed, 3 Sep 2008, notbob wrote:

    > On 2008-08-30, Mark Madsen wrote:
    >> Given that, Alan's original question may be rephrased as: "How can the
    >> Slackware book be made more useful to Slackware users?"

    >
    > The one item I'd like to see in the revised slack book is the inclusion of
    > a detailed section on how slack boots up. Which files are initiated first,
    > how to reboot certain aspects of the system without a cold reboot, etc.
    > This page has long been in my bookmarks:
    >
    > http://openskill.info/infobox.php?ID=1042
    >
    > ....couldn't hurt to put something similar in The Book.
    >

    That would be useful, since when you know the exact sequence you know
    where to put things. I have something happening twice, because when I
    needed to add it to the boot process I wasn't sure which place was
    right (or which was most appropriate) and once it worked I've yet
    to go back and figure out which is redundant and take it out.

    > Also, we need a very thorough chapter on the whole hotplug/udev/hald thing.
    > I've read till I'm blue and still don't understand how they work or how to
    > write udev rules. Fortunately, I simply said yes to all things
    > hotplug/udev/hald and networking during install and all worked with no help
    > from me. Thank you, Pat V! But, it bugs me to still not understand it.
    >

    That's one of the examples I can come up with that's lacking. I had to
    do something for something to work, and it all seemed pretty vague. I did
    a search, found something for one of the other distributions, and find
    "put it in exceptions" but Slack has no such exceptions file (this
    is paraphrasing since it's been a while).

    WHen there are things you have to customize, it is really useful to
    get a handle on what it's all about. And better examples (I'm talking
    generally). I know I looked up something somewhere and the example
    was something I could look up in an existing config file, since any
    distribution would need that example in place, but it didn't help
    me to figure out how to do something else. You can extrapolate from
    multiple examples, but a single example doesn't say much.

    > Another thing. How to decrypt some of the gibberish. lspci and lsusb and
    > dmesg are all fine tools, but useless if one can't uderstand their output.
    > I might just be able to write a udev rule if I knew what I was looking at
    > when I read lsusb. Actually, I'm getting pretty good at it, but some basics
    > along these lines couldn't hurt. Simple stuff like, "0xe000 is a memory
    > location in octal" (it is, isn't it?. You get my drift.
    >
    > If slack is going to be the distro that teaches how to get one's linux hands
    > dirty, the manual definitely needs some more grease.
    >

    ANd in some ways, explaingin why as a prelude to how make sense, since
    the why leads to more universal understanding, while the "well here's what
    you do" leaves someone dependent the next time something comes up.

    Michael


  20. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT - New Slackware Book Scheduled for Mid-2009

    On Wed, 03 Sep 2008 23:43:14 +0000, notbob wrote:

    > Also, we need a very thorough chapter on the whole hotplug/udev/hald thing.


    I concur! That would be an excellent addition.


    --
    "Ubuntu" -- an African word, meaning "Slackware is too hard for me".
    The Usenet Improvement Project: http://improve-usenet.org


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