[linux-elitists] SuSE/Novell -- docs, cluebat (was: "they promised me a pony!")

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Sun Feb 6 14:22:41 PST 2005

on Sat, Feb 05, 2005 at 01:34:15PM -0800, Don Marti (dmarti@zgp.org) wrote:
> begin  Jim Thompson quotation of Sat, Feb 05, 2005 at 09:43:38AM -1000:
> > Did it really have to come to this?  Novell is running a "Public Service 
> > Announcement" on its website.
> > 
> > http://www.novell.com/linux/windowstolinux/publicservice/
> > 
> > Maybe if they'd spend the bucks for a Superbowl Ad...
> Yeah, yeah, yeah -- look at the Novell home page.  The number one item
> is UNIX to Linux migration.  Same with Red Hat -- the two "migrate
> from" platforms listed are UNIX and old versions of Red Hat.

Um.  The "PSA" in question is an NT => GNU/Linux plug.

But yeah, the commercial Linuxes (Linices?) are pushing Unix=>GNU/Linux
migrations, principally.  Probably the low-hanging fruit.
> If Novell concentrated on getting its resellers fired up and qualified
> to replace all those NetWare and Windows NT 4.0 boxes, they'd get the
> UNIX customers along the way.  The other way around doesn't work.

OK, here's my gripe for Novell/SuSE.

I'm writing a newbie "things to consider in choosing a distro" document.
Among other things, I'm pointing to available documnentation sources for
major distros (RH, SuSE, Debian, Mandrake, Gentoo, Ubuntu, etc.).

One thing that immediately becomes apparent is that community projects
(Debian, Gentoo, Ubuntu) are *far* better at making documentation and
message clear than the proprietary distros are.

The other is that SuSE hides most of their docs behind a
registration-only "portal", at:


With the patient assistance of folks on the #suse channel at
irc.freenode.net, I turned up a number of docs (administrator and user
guides).  However, there is no publicly available:

  - FAQ
  - Bug tracking system
  - Installation manual

There *is* an unofficial SuSE FAQ.  Which is a *loud* shout to corporate
PR types:  if *you* don't make your message available, the community's
going to do it for you.  That's a cluetrain delivery, are you taking
deliveries, Novell?


I'm impressed by what Gentoo provides.  I'm already familiar with
Debian, and its offerings rock.  Ubuntu looks decent.

The page I'm developing, BTW, is at:


...work in process, commentary welcomed.

> Is the Linux industry turning into "dumbass UNIX vendors, part II"?

Yes, somewhat.
> Oh, and Macromedia Flash is a terrible way to reach the tech
> influentials who help families and small businesses make ICT buying
> decisions.  Elitists read faster than other people, but we can't watch
> cartoons faster than other people and that bugs us.

Is there a Flash interpreter which:

  - Doesn't play by default.
  - Doesn't allow disabling of the play/stop control?

If you *do* want to allow flash provisionally, there's a CSS hack for
"press to play":


...seems to work most, but not all, the time.


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   Have you filled out form twenty-seven b-stroke six?
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