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Mad Penguin Launches Slackware Handbook Project 86

Posted by timothy
from the you-can-paint-this-fence-for-a-single-apple-core dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mad Penguin's Adam Doxtater and Narayan Newton have launched a community-driven site dedicated to bringing the power and depth of the FreeBSD Handbook to Slackware Linux users. The site allows for the community to create and edit its own content. A simple voting system is in place to make sure the content that makes it into the handbook is of the highest quality. This is something that has been needed for some time and the idea of being able to edit our own material is really nice. A very unique project. Read the press release at LinuxPR.com."
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Mad Penguin Launches Slackware Handbook Project

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  • Not true.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    Unique means "original". Not "Wiki with a moderation system similar to Slashdots".
    • Comparing this to Wiki, is like comparing Slashdot to FARK.

      Seriously.
      • by stephenisu (580105) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:29PM (#11546855)
        OK it is similar to a wiki mixed with slashdot.

        So much so that well... they said it best.
        "Think of it as a wiki of sorts. All of the contributors are capable of editing and adding to the work of others on the project." said Doxtater, "This will ensure that the documentation is of the highest standard". Mad Penguin says that the new site is currently in operation and ready for the general public.
    • Unique in a sense. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Penguinoflight (517245) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:51PM (#11546954) Homepage Journal
      The meaning of unique is pretty simple, and I think this project accomplishes nique status by the following.

      Mad penguin is almost certainly going to publish this as a book, and make sure things are organized. Looking at the main site (slackersbible.org) you can see they've already picked 4 catagories for articles.

      This work will be unique by the organization of its community based content, even though moderation is done by a community. Think about everything2, the amount of useful content is enormus but you can't learn much because the organization is lacking.
      • As a diehard Slacker, I for one welcome our new mad penguin overlord. Long live Slackware

      • Mad penguin is almost certainly going to publish this as a book, and make sure things are organized. Looking at the main site (slackersbible.org) you can see they've already picked 4 catagories for articles

        That's far from unique - that's a direct consequence of the fact that they've started with the FreeBSD handbook, which had already done all of things.

    • Re:Not true.. (Score:4, Informative)

      by todesengel (722281) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @09:38PM (#11547203)
      This is definately a project I would like to see some press behind, it is far from "unique." Slackwiki [slackwiki.org] has been around for quite a while.
    • Also, something cant be 'very unique'. It is either unique or it is not. There are no levels of unique-ness. You cant say that something is 'a little unique' or that an object is 'more unique than something else'. But then the grammer of slashdot and its editors is uniqie.

    • Unique means there's only ONE. That's what the 'yoon-' bit on the front does. 'Very unique' only undermines the meaning of the word as used. There are no 'moderate' uniquenesses, say comprising of two, three or four things. There's only one kind of unique, the unary kind. Uniqueness is unique! "See Usage Note at absolute... See Usage Note at infinite." [1]

      [1] http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=unique
  • by Anonymous Crowhead (577505) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:23PM (#11546813)
    ...to keep content of high quality. Now where have I seen something like that?
  • link to the handbook (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    why wasn't it in the main article?

    http://www.slackersbible.org/

    btw. first post

  • why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by darthpenguin (206566) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:26PM (#11546834) Homepage
    There is already an ongoing project updating the official slackware book at http://slackbook.lizella.net/ [lizella.net]. For the most part, this work provides most information about daily admin tasks that anyone would need. Why is there this new project, then?
    • Re:why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by MadRaVen (855576) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:33PM (#11546875) Journal
      We started work on this before we knew about that. However, we don't see the two projects as being in conflict. This is more of a community type thing and the goal is to replicate the FreeBSD Handbook, which is quite a bit bigger then the Slackware Book. Our content is all under the BSD license, so the Slackware Book can use it. We arn't trying to steal their thunder or something like that.
      • Re:why? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Alan Hicks (660661) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:50PM (#11546950) Homepage
        We started work on this before we knew about that. However, we don't see the two projects as being in conflict.

        Of course they're not at conflict. At worst it's only healthy competition, like a sports game.

        This is more of a community type thing

        Personally I found it very difficult to get the community involved in documentation, and most of the "New Good Book" has been of my doing when my time is available.

        the goal is to replicate the FreeBSD Handbook, which is quite a bit bigger then the Slackware Book.

        And covers a lot more topics. My project is mainly designed to be a good introduction into Slackware Linux, teach people enough about the system to get it up, running, online, and understand the basics of linux in general and Slackware in particular. It isn't meant to be as indepth as what you're starting. Drop me a line sometime though, as I'd love to work together. Nothing like pooling resources to tackle big problems.

        Our content is all under the BSD license, so the Slackware Book can use it.

        I wish I could do the same. I typically prefer the BSD license for most things. I spoke with Pat recently about possibly migrating the Slackware Linux Essentials book to the Apple Common Documentation License (which is basically the GPL only tailored for documentation), but as he explained it to me the copyright was never transfered to him, so ATM I'm stuck with the GPL, which is fine by me of course.

        We arn't[sic] trying to steal their thunder or something like that.

        You gotta watch out for those when you're doing documentation! :^)

        • Regarding the license issues of the unofficial Good Book, it is still possible for the individual writers to contribute their own portions to this new project, isn't it?
          • Regarding the license issues of the unofficial Good Book, it is still possible for the individual writers to contribute their own portions to this new project, isn't it?

            Short Answer
            Ask a lawyer, I couldn't tell you.

            Long Answer
            IANAL, but it seems to me that as long as the portion in question contains no portions belonging to another author you may dual-license it all you please.

        • We arn't[sic] trying to steal their thunder or something like that.

          You gotta watch out for those when you're doing documentation! :^)


          That's why they are relying on the force of the wiki!!
      • the goal is to replicate the FreeBSD Handbook

        As a longtime slackware user, and someone who has dabbled with FreeBSD, I sure hope you're kidding about this.

        The *LAST* thing we need is instructions like this:

        "If you have versions 4.2 or less do X, if you have version >4.2 do Y, otherwise do Z"

        Seriously, there were once instructions like this in the FreeBSD handbook (for building a kernel, as a matter of fact). It got fixed after I complained about it, but please, please, PLEASE have someone whose fir
    • Why is this needed? You ever hear of competition? More than one book can't hurt.
  • Gentooism! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by linolium (713219) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:27PM (#11546845)
    It's good to see that Gentoo's in-depth handbook is starting to catch on with other Linux distributions (not to say they didn't borrow the idea from somewhere else).

    It's an excellent way to document Linux instead of having to sift through a long README document or rtfm man pages.
  • Good Luck! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alan Hicks (660661) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:29PM (#11546852) Homepage

    Let me be the first to wish them the best. I've been putting together a little "handbook" of my own (not nearly as ambitious as mimicking the excellent FreeBSD handbook, of which I own a hard copy incidently). Of course, anyone is free to contribute provided they license their writing under the GPL for inclusion. Basically it's a rewrite of the Slackware Linux Essentials book by Chris Lumens, Logan Johnson, and David Cantrell. You can find it here [lizella.net]. I call it "The Unofficial Revised Slackware Book Project". Stop by and take a look, I think you'll enjoy it.

    Props to these guys and their project, and I'd like to point out to them that can use anything at the above site provided they do so under the GPL.

    • > I call it "The Unofficial Revised Slackware Book Project". Stop by and take a look, I think you'll enjoy it.

      I'm sorry to break the bad news to you but your project has miserably failed the criteria of having an acceptable and pronounceable acronym.

      Suggested improvement:

      Free Administrators Guide to Slackware

      ;)

  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:30PM (#11546862) Homepage Journal
    Warning: mysql_connect(): Too many connections in /home/handbook/public_html/includes/database.mysql .inc on line 31
    Too many connections

    Line #31 certainly has to go.

  • Depth? (Score:4, Funny)

    by koko775 (617640) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:32PM (#11546870)
    dedicated to bringing the power and depth of the FreeBSD Handbook to Slackware Linux users

    phew. for a moment there i thought they misspelled "death".

    Jokes aside, what's so remarkable about documentation that everyone contributes that warrant s a news post? If I started a "all you need to know about open source" wiki and posted the link, would it be accepted? (if so, it's time to get some advertisers and start rehashing news)
  • by ltwally (313043) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:32PM (#11546872) Homepage Journal
    This is a wonderful step for Slackware. The FreeBSD Handbook is an incredible reference and guide, and every OS should have something similar....

    But what of the 100+ other gnu/linux distributions out there? One of linux's greatest strengths (and weaknesses) is the insane number of distributions and the sometimes strikingly large differences between distros. This book will work for Slackware, and maybe help with a few of the slack-based distros... but probably won't be much help for fedora, gentoo, or the other distros.

    But what do I know... I'm just a silly FreeBSD user, and this is only my two cents. ;)

    Best of luck w/ the slackware handbook!
    • This book will work for Slackware, and maybe help with a few of the slack-based distros... but probably won't be much help for fedora, gentoo, or the other distros.

      So? Who cares?

      Nobody's stopping anyone from making handbooks for those distributions.
    • But what of the 100+ other gnu/linux distributions out there? One of linux's greatest strengths (and weaknesses) is the insane number of distributions and the sometimes strikingly large differences between distros. This book will work for Slackware, and maybe help with a few of the slack-based distros... but probably won't be much help for fedora, gentoo, or the other distros.

      For all intensive purposes a "distro" is just an installer & a package manager. Linux is linux. If you can run one well you

    • But what of the 100+ other gnu/linux distributions out there?

      What of them? Linux distros rise and sink over time, but Slackware has the distinction of being the first; and from where I'm sitting, I don't see any drop in its popularity.

      We got a bit of a scare a few months ago when Pat got sick, and some might have got spooked into defecting to other distros, but many (most?) of us stayed put and don't regret doing so.

      • I think Pat getting sick ultimately should turn out to be a good thing, with regards to the survivability of the distro. If anything, it made some people think about what will happen if Pat left Slackware behind (for whatever reason).

        I was on the fence, tried a bunch of distros recently, and just can't find anything even close to Slackware. Gentoo's close, but too tedious for production use.

        Long live Slackware!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:33PM (#11546876)
    The FreeBSD handbook rules. But there's also the FreeBSD Wiki: FreeBSD wiki [tehinterweb.net] Which certainly needs more members.
  • by CypherXero (798440) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:36PM (#11546886) Homepage
    I love the FreeBSD Handbook, it's an amazing guide to help get the system up and running. I got FreeBSD 5.3 + X11 + Xorg + Gnome2 compilled and installed in less than 24 hours. (total work time was around 5-6 hours)
    • Man what did you install it on?? An 8086? Joking aside, the FreeBSD handbook is a great resource many other OSes are lacking at this point. Gentoo has another one which is nice, but not as in depth as the FreeBSD handbook.
  • Something is either unique (if there is one of it) or not. Calling something "very unique" is bad style.
    • Something is either unique (if there is one of it) or not. Calling something "very unique" is bad style.

      That's very true!
    • After the Norman Conquest of 1066, English absorbed a tremendous amount of vocabulary from French (nearly all words ending in "-tion," for instance). In some cases, such as names for food, these new words formed a parallel structure, with the French words ("poultry," "venison," etc.) becoming the high-class alternatives to their English counterparts.

      The one area where French words made almost no inroads, however, was in short, common words such as pronouns and articles and everyday verbs -- the backbones o

  • CMS... (Score:5, Informative)

    by xeon4life (668430) <devinNO@SPAMdevintorres.com> on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:57PM (#11546971) Homepage Journal
    The site allows for the community to create and edit its own content. A simple voting system is in place to make sure the content that makes it into the handbook is of the highest quality. This is something that has been needed for some time and the idea of being able to edit our own material is really nice. A very unique project.

    Actually, it's not unique.

    The content mangement appears to be Drupal [drupal.org] with a modified Marvin 2k [drupal.org] theme.

    Drupal has had these features forever.

    Move along now.
  • by MattJakel (815179)
    RMS would be proud [fsf.org]!
  • Or how about something like this [slashdot.org]
  • by hacker (14635) <hacker@gnu-designs.com> on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @11:27PM (#11547716)
    I've had the original FreeBSD handbook [freebsd.org] fetched nightly and converted to Plucker format [plkr.org] for awhile now. Take a look, its a beautiful piece of work.

    I do this for quite a few other pieces of work (the Gentoo handbook, PHP Documentation [plkr.org] (in 21 languages, it looks spectacular in color), the Creating XPCOM book [mozilla.org] is even available in Plucker format [plkr.org], as well as many others.

    These are not straight conversions, they require actual human eyes to look over them, test them, add navigation and other elements. For example, look at the Plucker version of the 9/11 Report [plkr.org] that I did. I added a LOT of functionality that wasn't there in the original version. (I also put my pristine HTML source version online [gnu-designs.com] for anyone to read. You can see the additional features I've added in that copy).

    I'll be making a lot more of my stealth works public soon.

    When they're finished with the Slackware Handbook, I'd be more than happy to look it over, do the conversion, and provide it in a mobile format for our user community.

  • This is good news. Although Slackware has had some good documentation its often out of date by a few editions each time.
  • As of today, there's nothing under "Common Tasks" or Desktop Applications, but "Configuring the Kernel has been filled in.

    Also, this seems to be in another one of those no-pictures documentation formats, like DocBook.

    What's wrong with this picture? Go to the computer section of any bookstore and try to find a book that has no drawings or screenshots.

  • They need a section for odd bugs that get encountered from time to time. For instance, I did a kernel upgrade on Slackware 10 to 2.6.7 using the mkinitrd instructions from Pat's mini how-to on a system with integrated i815 chipset video. Under the 2.4 kernel /dev/agpgart is working and happy, under 2.6.7 /dev/agpgart is missing and you have to recreate it every boot with "mknod /dev/agpgart c 10 175". Sure, you could go Googling for the info, but it would be nice for them to have a single location for the o

Let's organize this thing and take all the fun out of it.

Working...