a half-baked analysis of the verification chicken-and-egg problem, and request

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Re: PDF FAQ [Was: Donations to OpenBSD]

Norman Gray
Mihai, hello.

On 2014 Aug 17, at 09:50, Mihai Popescu <[hidden email]> wrote:

> To OP:

I presume you're addressing me?

> and yet you are asking for more and try to
> suggest crazy things.

No, I'm not asking for more.  I'm offering code, and
a mildly reorganised FAQ source text which would incidentally
make it easier to maintain in future.

> So, you saying that you want a paperback instead of CDs is writting
> out of boring.

No, I'm not saying I want a paperback.

I'll spell this out again: It has been claimed that some people would
buy a printed text who would not buy CDs (this was originally Worik
Stanton's suggestion, and I think it's plausible).  If such an artefact can
be produced and distributed trivially easily (I think I have demonstrated
the first part of that, and that sites like lulu.com support the second),
then that means more money for the OpenBSD project.

> Your little
> "project" must be maintained also,

Thank you for your kind condescension.

> FAQ is a changing information, it
> needs another resources and maintainers.

Indeed, and the easier that task is, the better.

Best wishes,

Norman


--
Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk
SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK

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Re: PDF FAQ [Was: Donations to OpenBSD]

Theo de Raadt
In reply to this post by Norman Gray
> I'll spell this out again: It has been claimed that some people would
> buy a printed text who would not buy CDs (this was originally Worik
> Stanton's suggestion, and I think it's plausible).  If such an artefact can
> be produced and distributed trivially easily (I think I have demonstrated
> the first part of that, and that sites like lulu.com support the second),
> then that means more money for the OpenBSD project.

It does not mean more money for the OpenBSD project.

Noone is going to bother setting up sales for something that can be
trivially reproduced.

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Re: PDF FAQ [Was: Donations to OpenBSD]

Norman Gray
Theo, hello.

On 2014 Aug 17, at 18:09, Theo de Raadt <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Noone is going to bother setting up sales for something that can be
> trivially reproduced.

But that's the odd thing about the Python Reference Manual I linked to [1].  It's identical to the downloadable version of the same document, and either people don't realise this, or else they do but want the paper thing anyway.  I've no idea what its sales are, but the existence of reviews on that page indicates that they're non-zero.

Of course, the python community is both larger than, and different from, the OpenBSD one, so this is no more than an existence proof.  However the same 'they can just download it' argument can also be applied to the distribution CDs, and folk are encouraged to buy them, and do, for various reasons.

It's certainly true, though, that there'd be an effort trade-off to calculate.  All I'm adding is that if that trade-off _were_ deemed to be worth it, then generating the PDF, and HTML, is trivial.

All the best,

Norman


[1] http://www.amazon.com/Python-Language-Reference-Manual/dp/1906966141/

--
Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk
SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK

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Re: PDF FAQ

Ingo Schwarze
In reply to this post by Norman Gray
Hi,

Norman Gray wrote on Sun, Aug 17, 2014 at 12:47:41PM +0100:

> Docbook is a reasonable suggestion, and intended for [...]

You may have mistaken me.  The only reason i'm involved with
docbook2mdoc(1) is that that tool can be used to migrate
content *away* from Docbook, and to exploit doclifter(1)
to convert content to mdoc(7).  I'm not saying that Docbook
is a reasoable tool for any task, quite to the contrary.

If the FAQ is converted to anything, the new master format
must be mdoc(7).  Definitely nothing except plain old HTML
and mdoc(7) is even remotely acceptable as a master format.

Yours,
  Ingo

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Re: PDF FAQ [Was: Donations to OpenBSD]

Joel Rees-2
In reply to this post by Norman Gray
2014/08/17 20:50 "Norman Gray" <[hidden email]>:
>
> [...]
>
> Well yes, but those are problems with Adobe's dreadful reader,
> not with the (standardised) format itself.

Unfortunately, the format itself breeds holes.

Being a fan of postfix languages, it's been a bit of a bitter pill for me,
but I've done some of the math. The problem is not just the implentation.

Still, the larger problems are that Adobe has a near monopoly in this
segment and is not willing to slow down to let natural competition help
clean things up, and is not willing to slow down to clean things up
themselves. Very irresponsible, just like the other big companies.

But they own the format, and 3rd party cleanroom implementations still have
to follow their lead in today's monopoly-supporting IP regime.

> [...]

It's not that your efforts are unappreciated, but you should recognize that
the path you are tracing is not new. Nor should you necessarily be too
discouraged. Just recognize that there is a lot more work to be done, if
the project is going to take this on. The technical part is the easy part,
and I think that you do realize that what you accomplished isn't really
even 5/18ths of the technical part of the job.

(I speak as a lurker who has seen something like this before.)

Also,  if you are considering donating the necessary work yourself, you
might want to talk with Michael Lucas. I think he might be able to help you
avoid some of the dead-end paths in the solution tree.

Joel Rees

Computer memory is just fancy paper,
CPUs just fancy pens.
All is a stream of text
flowing from the past into the future.

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Re: PDF FAQ [Was: Donations to OpenBSD]

Theo de Raadt
In reply to this post by Norman Gray
> > Well yes, but those are problems with Adobe's dreadful reader,
> > not with the (standardised) format itself.
>
> Unfortunately, the format itself breeds holes.
>
> Being a fan of postfix languages, it's been a bit of a bitter pill for me,
> but I've done some of the math. The problem is not just the implentation.
>
> Still, the larger problems are that Adobe has a near monopoly in this
> segment and is not willing to slow down to let natural competition help
> clean things up, and is not willing to slow down to clean things up
> themselves. Very irresponsible, just like the other big companies.
>
> But they own the format, and 3rd party cleanroom implementations still have
> to follow their lead in today's monopoly-supporting IP regime.
>
> > [...]
>
> It's not that your efforts are unappreciated, but you should recognize that
> the path you are tracing is not new. Nor should you necessarily be too
> discouraged. Just recognize that there is a lot more work to be done, if
> the project is going to take this on. The technical part is the easy part,
> and I think that you do realize that what you accomplished isn't really
> even 5/18ths of the technical part of the job.
>
> (I speak as a lurker who has seen something like this before.)
>
> Also,  if you are considering donating the necessary work yourself, you
> might want to talk with Michael Lucas. I think he might be able to help you
> avoid some of the dead-end paths in the solution tree.


I've seen this before.  It has never helped OpenBSD.  I'll stop short
of calling the OP a troll, but boy, what an amazing distraction.  I wonder
who funds him.

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Re: PDF FAQ [Was: Donations to OpenBSD]

openbsd2012
| I've seen this before.  It has never helped OpenBSD.  I'll stop short of calling
| the OP a troll, but boy, what an amazing distraction.  I wonder who funds
| him.

Yep, if it's such a great idea then why aren't these suggestion makers doing it? The answer is that it would be a colossal waste of their time. If they really believed in their suggestions then they would step up and really volunteer to make it happen. Instead, they try to foist it on the project developers.

It's nothing more than wishful thinking at work. As the saying goes, wish in one hand, shit in the other, and see which one fills up first.

Anyone who is really serious will just donate money without any expectation of "getting something for it", because the smart ones among the user base already realize that the OpenBSD software releases are paying it back in spades.

By next year I'll be finished articling, I'll be earning a real paycheque once more, and you can expect to start receiving those annual $200 cheques from me again, Theo. I'll wager that not one of these suggestion makers has even managed half that amount on a recurring basis. Maybe not even one tenth. I'm mean, didn't the one guy say he bought a t-shirt once? How generous of him. You better adopt every suggestion he makes. I mean, you owe him, right? :eyeroll:

Breeno

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Re: PDF FAQ [Was: Donations to OpenBSD]

Martin Schröder
In reply to this post by Joel Rees-2
2014-08-18 0:22 GMT+02:00 Joel Rees <[hidden email]>:
> But they own the format, and 3rd party cleanroom implementations still have

No. ISO does this 2007.

Best
   Martin

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