[CentOS-docs] adding stuff to wiki

Wed Jan 14 14:33:24 UTC 2009
jkinz at kinz.org <jkinz at kinz.org>

On Tue, Jan 13, 2009 at 04:48:21PM -0500, R P Herrold wrote:
> On Tue, 13 Jan 2009, jkinz at kinz.org wrote:
> > #1 - some notes about how to use Perl and cpan on Centos
> >     proabbly in section 16 on the how to page.
> >     http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos
 ........switched order of these 2 RPH statements:
> I come back to the thought that people need to consider WHY 
> something needs to be docoed yet again.

In this case no documents were found that address this issue 
Both Google and the CentOS wiki were used to search for same.

That doesn't mean they don't exist, but I certainly couldn't
find them after an earnest effort to do so. [Note I do realize
that sometimes all it takes is changing a few keywords in the
search to find something - but - what happens when the person
focused on a specific problem doesn't think of "those" keywords?]

(Note: I got the info on the IRC channel where it took a while (hours?)
to produce.)

If people can't find the information easily in the haystack we
call the web using tools like Google, then the information is no
more effective than not existing at all for those people.

The issue is that CPAN (the Perl package manager) does not work on
CentOS (or RHEL) as shipped.

As a result, the Perl community attitude towards CentOS/RHEL is
disdainful to the point of contempt. At least for the portion of the
community I contacted about the issue.

Eventually I would like to produce a tool that auto-packages new items
as they get submitted to cpan [assuming that we cannot fix the problem
the breaks our compatibility with CPAN]. There is a feed on CPAN that
makes this possible. Having cpan broken is significant issue with
regards to module availability.

In the meantime, Perl being one of the more important system management
(and everything else ) tools on UNIX/Linux. I would like to see a much
more prominent FAQ or article about how to use Perl effectively on
CentOS. That way people whose search efforts fail (as mine did), will
still be able to find the information by a simple manual perusal of the
FAQs and How-tos, as I attempted to do. Which specifically lead to me
thinking I should fix that gap and hopefully the search failure.

> If a 'unknown' person wants posting authorization, I think it 
> is probably a good idea to submit a proposed sample along with 
> the request

RP - if you want evidence of my bona-fides, here are things you
can look at: 

#1 - any one of the forty or so white papers I wrote while an analyst
at IDC.  They are available for between $3000 to $5000 per copy (price
drops considerably for multiple copies. :-) )

#2 - Look at my entries in the RedHat Install List FAQ 

#3 - Look at the RHIL unofficial guide

#4 - Please look at the RedHat install group mailing list archives, you
and I were both active in it.

#5 - Ask Spaf (Gene Spafford) who I am. (No, don't waste his time)
(We were undergrads together at SUNY, circa 1978,79)

#6 - Am I going to write an article on spec to submit to you to see if
you think I am good enough to contribute to your wiki? hmm, well I would
consider doing so at the normal IDC consulting rates, otherwise no. I
wont jump thru that hoop to become a contributor.

Please consider being less discouraging to people who want to help.

The tenor of this response comes off as, "Is he good enough to
contribute to the wiki?" and causes me to wonder if there is an
understanding of the need to grow the CentOS community by encouraging
people to be active contributors.

> We are only building a corpus subject to entropy (aka 
> 'webrot') by writing 'CentOS' versions of explanations of 
> common topics; IF, and really, only if the CentOS solution is 
> somehow undocumented in the existing materials, it MAY be 
> worth stitching in new wiki content and Forum posts [one 
> assumes locked against further addition, and therefor not 
> editable by non-'high rights uses'] (Forum posts sadly have 
> the shelf life of a fish in many cases).

How about a pointer from the FAQs/How-tos to the article in the
documentation which addresses the issue? 

Jeff Kinz