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Re: Cygwin Book?

thinking that we should redesign the GUI and provide a command-line

Doh! Debian apt works ok. But,seriously, maybe for the new-to-gnu people, a GUI app is a good intro. Obviously, you can't make them hunt down corrupt .gz files everytime it crashes :)

As far as other points, you could get cygwin success stories. I can contribute
scripts for mining specialty sources for e-mail addresses or the script that
caused commercial sites to reject a shared IP address for a while :)

From: Warren Young <>
Reply-To: The Vulgar and Unprofessional Cygwin-Talk List <>
Subject: Re: Cygwin Book?
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 12:04:03 -0600

Christopher Faylor wrote:

It seems like more and more people are using Cygwin because they want a package that is part of the distribution. We get too many ignorant questions for me to think that many of these people are at all familiar with *IX systems.

Yeah, so Chapter 2 (or Appendix B) can be something on the overall philosophy of *ix and how to use the most common tools.

My main point is that there's no need for The Unix System Administration Handbook, Cygwin Edition. If someone wants to learn *ix in general, there are plenty of very good books for that, including the purple book. Cygwin is close enough to a "real" *ix that the difference generally doesn't matter to a newbie. This wheel doesn't need to be reinvented.

Whenever I think about doing that, I always think about how many
problems people have with the concept of setup.exe and then I start
thinking that we should redesign the GUI and provide a command-line

That'd be my vote. I don't start threads about it because I know the correct reply is SHTDI, and I'm capable of Doing It, so I can't get out of it on an incompetence plea. :)

Then I get discouraged and just fire up Unreal Tournament 2004
to forget about things.

Back in the day, there was a DOOM mod for Linux system administration. Killing processes was quite natural, for instance.

Maybe we can mod one of the Quake engines to install Cygwin. As the packages download and install, new rooms are added. The doors open and each README is represented by a monster that comes out, which can't be killed until you pop into console mode and page through it. When the install process completes, the boss monster, Bill Gates, is imprisoned at the center of the complex to do slave labor on an exercise wheel that turns the wheels that keep the complex running.

I guess my point is that I'd hate to document the warts in Cygwin when
the most profitable use of time would be to fix the warts.

I think it's pretty clear by now which ones aren't going away, at least any time soon. The point of the book isn't to deflate egos, it's to be guru guidance in getting up to speed on the raisins de eater of the whole shish-kebab.

As I envision it, the book will be maintained publically in DocBook form, available as a PDF in a cygwin-manual package, and almost incidentally published in paper form by any of the several publishers who would be cool with that. That lets us improve the book continuously over time, as long as we have a willing maintainer. FAQ++.

And yes, I'm aware that the correct reply to all this is also SHTDI, and I'm halfway to volunteering. The only thing holding me back is that I'm not really a Cygwin power user. There's a lot about it that I really don't understand, even after using it since B16 or so. Generally it Just Works for my limited purposes, so I don't have much call to dig deep into it.

What I do know is technical writing, DocBook, and the Unix Way.

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