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From:jonathan michaels Date:April 11 1999 7:47am
Subject:Re: FAQ vs Manual
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On Sun, Apr 11, 1999 at 12:22:52AM +0500, Peter F. Brown wrote:
> > Monty said,
> > The problem with making a FAQ, that would be relatively complete, for a
> > program with many options (like MySQL) is that the FAQ would probably be
> > bigger than the current manual...
> > Instead of working on a FAQ, I think its wiser to spend more time
> > making the MySQL manual even better.
> 
>    Here, here! As a user/developer, I have to say that life is MUCH
> simpler when one doesn't have to pore through both a FAQ and a manual,
> hoping that one doesn't miss something. I think it's MUCH more efficient
> to have one repository for all relevant technical information.
> 
>    Rather than a FAQ, as a supplement, a book of real-life coding
> examples, apps and tips and tricks would be very useful. Something
> like the Perl Cookbook, or the Perl 5 How-To. Such a book could also
> include database design tips from the MySQL perspective. I think I
> heard that a book came out about MiniSQL and MySQL, (which I haven't
> seen) but I was under the impression that it was more of an introductory
> book. Something like the Perl cookbook would be great. Lot's of rock
> solid nuggets for one's workbench.


book now that wouldbe an idea, i have found teh html 
"documentation" if you can use that for for a bunch of html 
files to be very heavy going.

ok, i will admit i have a bias against computer screen 
'literature' becaue of a couple  of sever debilitating issues. 
if it were possible tomake a book like say out of postscript 
and or pdf with a good crossfreneceing index.

i have several good books on physics that are almost readt for 
teh scrap heap becaue teh index pages are ready to fall out. 
when looking fro one ting i can 'cross polinate' ideas and find 
solutions much quicker with a good index. from what i have seen 
of html is that it is like a big table of contents headings 
with a few parragraphs on each heading.

while this is ok fro people who have an intimate knowledge of 
teh subgect at hand and need just a referesher .. beginners 
don't work like that, we just have a word, worse still we have 
a fragment of a word and the best (the only real) place to 
correlate these segments of ideas to relevant chunks of teh 
documantation texts is via a good index.

i hear a few cries of use teh search function, this is all well 
and good, but if your browser .. well you get the idea, doing 
someting with grep would be better, but far far messier. 
building a wais database out of teh documentation, with each 
paragraph/section/chapter being a seperate document .. if you 
can follow teh drift, that is being aware of what wais is and 
how it does it.

html id good for what it is, it was never desigened to build or 
replace good textual documentation .. the format of a well 
produced book style of subgect documentation can only be 
r4ealised on someting like a pdf or as a postscript document 
(latex et al are a means to an end, not the end itself). 

i believe that if we could make teh available documenatation 
better, that is provide answers in a more productive manner 
then the incidents of teh faq would reduce. this would tehn 
only leave teh on/about installation faq's and some of teh more 
complex, poorly understood by beginners to sql in general and 
not mysql in particular.

some ting that i would like to see incorporated into a faq and 
perhaps fleshed out in teh documentation proper is a usability 
comparision twix saw microsoft access and mysql .. i've seen a 
few microosoft access users convert to mysql (and several other 
sql's on unix and linux platforms) they all fave much teh same 
concrete lined ceiling to break through, that is to beocme 
productive sql database admins.  but, this is a more resources 
hunger project that producing a faq, i believe.

regards

jonathan, professional in bed layer and book reader.

ps, dsylexia has its way changing spelling so that even spell 
checkers can not cope .. sorry.

-- 
===============================================================================
Jonathan Michaels
PO Box 144, Rosebery, NSW 1445 Australia
===========================================================<jon@stripped>

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