"The Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"

(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) This month's "paltry" offerings

From denis miller on Thu, 08 Jul 1999

Even a "altry" month from you is better than 10 full offerings from the mainstream big budget computer mags.

Keep up the excellent work. Denis Miller

(!) Thanks. Did I typo on that one?
Well the good news is that I finished the printing chapter. Now all have left is some touch up on the two appendices (Glossary and "Emergency")

[ At press time for the Gazette, all the edits for LSA are supposed to be in. So, whatever typos have made it past the professional proofreader, all 3 authors, me, and whatever other technical editors stuck it out to the end, well, they're stuck like flies in amber now. Some of you out there may find these two portions to be worth the price of the entire book. And, in case anyone's coming to this late, thinking "what book?" -- that's Linux System Administration, due out very soon from Macmillan (www.mcp.com) -- Heather ]

Now all I have to do one final proof over it and there I'm not allowed to add new material that would change the layout --- just minor corrections allowed.
With luck the book will finally be out by September.

(?) Typos

From denis miller on Fri, 09 Jul 1999

Even a "altry" month from you is better than 10 full offerings from the mainstream big budget computer mags.

Keep up the excellent work.
Denis Miller

(!)Thanks. Did I typo on that one?

(?) No you didn't change the english language. It is why I will never be hired for my typing skills or beautiful legs!

(!)I only ask because you quoted it --- and I've been known to let quite a few typos out. It's the disadvantage of writing for an all-volunteer venue like Linux Gazette. We just can't proofread it and write as much as we'd like. (Heather will catch some of them --- but she already spends about a full working day every month on TAG; and usually gets squeezed into a sleepless night or two).

[ That's about 6 hours on improving the preparser each month (which I've named lgazmail), then whatever it takes to lace the threads together. Really tricky ones I may push to the next month, and then I complete them after the pub deadline. I do tend to sleep some.

I already caught a few typos this time around. -- Heather ]

No one's expressed much interest in my legs either. Heather's, on the other hand ....

[ I need a pink smily so it can blush? ;) -- Heather ]

(?) Typos

From denis miller on Sun, 11 Jul 1999

(?) If you need a volunteer to proofread and check grammar I offer myself as a sacrificial lamb. My mother tongue is English and I can swear at my computer in five languages.


(!) It's an interesting thought. On the one hand I could Bcc: you on every TAG reply I send out during the month. You could then proof them and comment on them.
I've been thinking of making TAG a mailing list (probably a manually operated one) for some time but hadn't given much thought to the mechanisms to use for it.
What I'd envision is changing it from "The Answer Guy" to "The Answer Gang" --- mail comes it to a small private mailing list, answers are batted around by comittee and, when consensus is reached on a response that is forwarded back to the original person.

[ I would definitely need to update the wizard graphic. -- Heather ]

Of course it would take away some of the "personal touch." A committee is unlikely to reach consensus on a "rant" (I might not agree with some of my own rants ten minutes after I send them).
So I'm not sure. Perhaps we should come up with a hybrid. One model would be: Questions come it, I respond with my usual "stream of consciousness" ranting (often supplemented by URLs from marginally relevant searches on Yahoo! and other engines), and I copy "the gang" --- then they can send comments, corrections, flames and suggestions which can then make it into the same issue as the original question and answer.

[ How about, the querent's mail arrives, one of the Gang fields it, everyone else polishes and tweaks afterwards, for instance with extra URLs, or a clarification. We already have a very minimal form of this, when you copy a maintainer on a reply; this might just formalize some extra eyes that should always see it. It should, however, be a limited crew. I'm kinda thinking it would be good to come up with different bubbles for everyone, and I don't want too many of them. -- Heather ]

I'm open to other suggestions.

[ Any non-PC Linux experts out there want to join? Curmudgeonly nature a plus :) -- Heather ]

Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 44 August 1999
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Starshine Techinical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

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