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Old 02-04-2009, 11:02 PM
Nate Bargmann
 
Default improving the mailing lists WAS: Debian VPN

I don't think you're off the mark at all. I was surpised at some of
the commentary posted in my recent Exim4 thread. I have been on this
particular mailing list nearly a decade and one of its hallmarks has
been a lack of RTFM! type posts.

When exploring the darker corners of some package, this list has
traditionally been a wealth of experience to draw on. I hope that
isn't changing. There are many threads that are of no interest to me,
but I'm proficient enough with my MUA that I can mark them for deletion
quite quickly. I know there are many subscribed to this list, but it
seems as though some of the annoyed posters are folks I don't
recognize. Perhaps they have been lurking lo these many years and I
admit that it's conceivable with this list's volume that it's possible
to have never crossed paths with some long time subscribers.

I certainly hope that the tenor of this list is not changing away from
its helpful reputation. Perhaps it is helpful to remember that at some
point we were new to Debian and somewhat overwhelmed by it all. The
ideal of the Debian community is one of patient helpfulness and this
list is really the face of the Debian user community.

- Nate >>

--

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all
possible worlds. The pessimist fears this is true."

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Old 02-04-2009, 11:24 PM
Johannes Wiedersich
 
Default improving the mailing lists WAS: Debian VPN

Nate Bargmann wrote:
> I don't think you're off the mark at all. I was surpised at some of
> the commentary posted in my recent Exim4 thread. I have been on this
> particular mailing list nearly a decade and one of its hallmarks has
> been a lack of RTFM! type posts.

There has not been a RTFM post on this thread. There have just been
repeated claims of such posts.

Johannes


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Old 02-05-2009, 12:13 AM
Celejar
 
Default improving the mailing lists WAS: Debian VPN

On Wed, 4 Feb 2009 13:06:31 -0600
"Stackpole, Chris" <CStackpole@barbnet.com> wrote:

> The reaction I was going for is not the one I was wanting. That tells me that I wrote my response improperly. I apologize; my fault.
>
> More to the subject, let me try to explain my view. Please feel free to comment.

Please wrap your lines, as per the code of conduct:

http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct

...

> Thanks partially to Google we are at a point where you can find anything on the internet, /if/ you know where and how to look. However, finding someone to help you sort through the mass information is almost priceless. The best way for me to explain is through my own experience. If you Google 'Linux cluster' you are going to find a ton of information out there. If you know nothing about Linux clusters, just jumping in is quite the shock. There are many types of clusters on many types of hardware on many types of Distros. I am far from an Guru as there are many others that know _much_ more then I, but I love experimenting and working with clusters and probably have more experience with clusters then most people ever want to have. On the flip side, if you had asked me a few months ago to explain in detail everything I know about LDAP authentication I would have just looked at you and shook my head. Google offered TONS of data on the subject but by asking around I found someone who did have experience and he gave me a bunch of docs that were much more helpful to me then what I had found on Google.

My experience is that for almost any reasonably mainstream topic,
Google works just fine. On the contrary, when the number of hits is
huge, this usually indicates that the topic is heavily discussed and
that excellent informations is probably out there. Google is generally
efficient enough that the first page of hits will include useful
resources, and ten minutes of reading will go far toward giving one a
basic grounding in the subject, eliminating that feeling of being
overwhelmed, and bringing one to a point of feeling somewhat comfortable
with the topic and possessing some idea of where to go next.

Your example of LDAP, OTOH, is an interesting one. I've tried more
than once to grok LDAP, and given up in bafflement. I can't quite tell
if it's inherently just overkill for my needs, or if my Google-fu is
just insufficient to find a basic introduction to the system. [I'd be
using it on my personal systems, to share contact information between
different application and perhaps across several systems.] Every
introduction I've seen involves creating from scratch complicated
schema and doing quite a bit of planning and writing of files. This
may be unavoidable, and LDAP may indeed be overkill for my minimal
needs, or I may have merely been unable to find the appropriate docs.
This supports your point that sometimes asking on the list might be
appropriate even for subjects that return many Google hits.

Just my $.02

Celejar
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:21 PM
consultores1
 
Default improving the mailing lists WAS: Debian VPN

El mié, 04-02-2009 a las 20:13 -0500, Celejar escribió:
> On Wed, 4 Feb 2009 13:06:31 -0600
> "Stackpole, Chris" <CStackpole@barbnet.com> wrote:
>
> > The reaction I was going for is not the one I was wanting. That tells me that I wrote my response improperly. I apologize; my fault.
> >
> > More to the subject, let me try to explain my view. Please feel free to comment.
>
> Please wrap your lines, as per the code of conduct:
>
> http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct
>
> ...
>
> > Thanks partially to Google we are at a point where you can find anything on the internet, /if/ you know where and how to look. However, finding someone to help you sort through the mass information is almost priceless. The best way for me to explain is through my own experience. If you Google 'Linux cluster' you are going to find a ton of information out there. If you know nothing about Linux clusters, just jumping in is quite the shock. There are many types of clusters on many types of hardware on many types of Distros. I am far from an Guru as there are many others that know _much_ more then I, but I love experimenting and working with clusters and probably have more experience with clusters then most people ever want to have. On the flip side, if you had asked me a few months ago to explain in detail everything I know about LDAP authentication I would have just looked at you and shook my head. Google offered TONS of data on the subject but by asking around I found someone who did have experience and he gave me a bunch of docs that were much more helpful to me then what I had found on Google.
>
> My experience is that for almost any reasonably mainstream topic,
> Google works just fine. On the contrary, when the number of hits is
> huge, this usually indicates that the topic is heavily discussed and
> that excellent informations is probably out there. Google is generally
> efficient enough that the first page of hits will include useful
> resources, and ten minutes of reading will go far toward giving one a
> basic grounding in the subject, eliminating that feeling of being
> overwhelmed, and bringing one to a point of feeling somewhat comfortable
> with the topic and possessing some idea of where to go next.
>
> Your example of LDAP, OTOH, is an interesting one. I've tried more
> than once to grok LDAP, and given up in bafflement. I can't quite tell
> if it's inherently just overkill for my needs, or if my Google-fu is
> just insufficient to find a basic introduction to the system. [I'd be
> using it on my personal systems, to share contact information between
> different application and perhaps across several systems.] Every
> introduction I've seen involves creating from scratch complicated
> schema and doing quite a bit of planning and writing of files. This
> may be unavoidable, and LDAP may indeed be overkill for my minimal
> needs, or I may have merely been unable to find the appropriate docs.
> This supports your point that sometimes asking on the list might be
> appropriate even for subjects that return many Google hits.
>
> Just my $.02
>
> Celejar
> --

I undestand that in the Unix World, the base of information has been the
man pages, secondly the .doc, but for now the man pages are not enough
to comprehend how somethig works. The absence of examples, and ambiguity
of language complecate its understanding.

Taken from man apt-listbugs:
"Description
apt-listbugs is a tool which retrieves bug reports from the Debian Bug
Tracking System and lists them. Especially, it is intended to be invoked
**** before each upgrade by apt in order to check whether the
upgrade/installation is safe."

At the previous example, the words "manually" or "automatically" could
be used substituting ****.

The other point is because of the influenze of the pigs (people who want
to regulate everything), the text .doc) are very long and useless, added
that after install them, i can not find them at the menu. They should be
very specific.

Concluding, why to use untrusted, obsolete, and confused information
(internet), if we can use efficient man pages and .docs, (some effort
could go on them.)




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Old 02-05-2009, 03:15 PM
Joe
 
Default improving the mailing lists WAS: Debian VPN

Celejar wrote:


Your example of LDAP, OTOH, is an interesting one. I've tried more
than once to grok LDAP, and given up in bafflement. I can't quite tell
if it's inherently just overkill for my needs, or if my Google-fu is
just insufficient to find a basic introduction to the system. [I'd be
using it on my personal systems, to share contact information between
different application and perhaps across several systems.] Every
introduction I've seen involves creating from scratch complicated
schema and doing quite a bit of planning and writing of files. This
may be unavoidable, and LDAP may indeed be overkill for my minimal
needs, or I may have merely been unable to find the appropriate docs.
This supports your point that sometimes asking on the list might be
appropriate even for subjects that return many Google hits.



To continue wandering off-topic, in the hope of learning something: yes,
LDAP is grossly overspecified for email contact lists, but there appears
to be nothing else. All email clients can use LDAP directories, but no
other kind. So I run slapd on my Etch server purely to make a couple of
dozen email addresses available to various machine/OS combinations on my
network. That's not exactly a problem, but slapd is a greedy beast and
seems to be a waste of resources for such a simple job.


And yes, there's not a huge amount to learn, but you have to learn all
of it at once to get started on even the simplest job. Something I found
was that there's no one way to do things in LDAP, which is a bit
unnerving. Read half a dozen LDAP tutorials, and you find at least five
slightly different approaches, which are not easy to reconcile. Quite a
few different configurations and schemas will give the same result when
you look up an email address from Thunderbird. Still, a Google on 'ldap
address book tutorial' turns up quite a few results, from 'do this,
this, and this' to some more explanatory texts.


You only really need the core and inetorgperson schemas, and I think the
system also wants cosine and nis, but possibly the Debian default
installation will put them in anyway. Your contact is basically an
inetorgperson with most fields left blank, you don't need to add any
further schemas unless you want to link some exotic data structure to
the contact. You need a root domain, generally your email domain name
being convenient, but it doesn't matter a lot. You probably want an
Organisational Unit, for which I used 'Contacts', and since I never got
round to using LDAP for anything else, was probably unnecessary. You
need a name and password for the admin, and I think that's about it.
There are various LDAP administrators and GUI address books to tweak
entries, and it's not hard to work out a csv to ldif converter to
migrate the addresses in. I use a few perl scripts to add and edit
through a web browser, and only use an admin program if I need to do
something a bit technical.


I've been looking for an LDAP/SQL contact gateway for years, but nobody
else seems to want it and I don't really know enough to do a decent job
of it myself. Contact LDAP queries are extremely simple, just returning
a list of inetorgperson records, and I'm sure it shouldn't be hard to
translate that to an SQL query, and reformat the response. MySQL is also
greedy, but I run that for many purposes.


--
Joe


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Old 02-05-2009, 07:07 PM
Celejar
 
Default improving the mailing lists WAS: Debian VPN

On Thu, 05 Feb 2009 16:15:34 +0000
Joe <joe@jretrading.com> wrote:

[snipped Joe's helpful tips on practical, basic LDAP configuration.]

Thanks very much for the information.

Celejar
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