FreeBSD Kernel Internals Documentation

Polytropon freebsd at
Fri Dec 30 12:51:44 UTC 2011

On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 07:15:00 -0500, Jerry wrote:
> On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 07:39:58 +0100
> Polytropon articulated:
> > However, there are differences in how you judge documentation
> > to be _good_. Talk to a mainframer, and he will tell you a
> > different story. Then talk to a "Windows" person and explain
> > what documentation is, and he'll tell you that you don't
> > need it. :-)
> Poly, I think you just broke your own record for retarded statements.

Ah Jerry, impolite as always. :-)

You're missing to identify the ":-)" symbol appended,
and the MAIN STATEMENT of that sentence, which is
that "good documentation" depends on _many_ factors,
such as amount, location, quality, availability of
translations, organisation and structure. There are
many opinions of what "good documentation" is, and
it depends on who you will ask.

> If you were to expand your statement to include documentation for
> drivers for "N" protocol devices, FreeBSD users would say that they
> don't need it either since they don't have such drivers.

I won't comment on this as it has been discussed
already, and I think I remember that I could even
agree with your standpoint in this regards.

> The fact is
> that Windows was designed to "just work" so that users could spend
> their time on the project(s) they wanted to work on and not reading
> tons of frivolous garbage on simple things like networking two or more
> computers together.

If the project is about developing stuff, inventing
things and creating OS-related stuff, then... where
can I find the "Windows" source code please? :-)

How can you explain then that _I_ use FreeBSD in
a "just works" state to get my projects done, whereas
the praised "Windows" won't do it? Of course you'll
say that I'm a minority that doesn't express in
unit sales and market share, and here the discussion
ends for you.

What "Windows" was _designed for_... well, that is
a highly debatable point which doesn't belong to this
list, not even declared as off-topic.

Reality - at least in my country and working field -
shows that "Windows" doesn't "just work" for the
majority of users here. The lack of easily accessible
documentation and reasonable procedures and common
standards is a main reason for people to leave this
architecture. More and more of them seem to recognize
that the claim "just works" is a claim, but there are
more and more situations where it's not backed up,
means: Does NOT work, causes downtime, causes COSTS.

It might be fully different in your country and your
working field, keep that in mind.

> Poly, you have stated several times in a multitude of posts that you
> neither use nor understand MS Windows.

I have stated that I don't use it, but I understand
it well enough, I can assure you. It's common practice
to deny any knowledge "in the field" to not get filled
up with "help requests" (i. e. "work for free") in
that trouble-filled area of computing. But after all,
more often than I'd like to admit I'm the guy who
fixes that stuff and makes things work again, and
this is due to my experience and knowledge, not
because of some magic wand I carry with me. :-)

> For most people, that alone
> would preclude them from making a statement on said subject. Obviously,
> talking about something you readily admit to having no knowledge about
> is no problem for you. Pathetic.

Reconsider your statement with the information of my
present knowledge.

Also you should know that I'm NOT "most people".
"Most people" have _never_ achieved anything notable
in history. This is what _exceptional_ people did,
be it for good or for evil (in which case "most
people" are responsible for making it happen by
ambitiously helping, blindly following or ignoring).

To repeat for you: You may regard my knowledge as
fully sufficient to make educated statements. The
fact that I avoid that in certain fields does not
change that fact. Similarly, I'm not mentioning or
explaining all the fields I'm familiar with, which
doesn't imply that I don't have actual knowledge
in those fields. You should be able to judge my
credibility from the _content_ of the statements
I make, seen in _context_ and interpreted properly.

But maybe that's the fate of those who use a
language that is not their native ones. I do
know that I have certain deficites in using the
english language, so this might be a reason;
I'm not a native speaker. Also I'm just a man
who can make mistakes. Show me a mistake and
I won't be that stupid to insist on it. You
know that this works (just read some of our
older disputes). In fact, admitting a mistake
and correcting the own attitude and knowledge
is a very positive aspect of discussion culture.
Sadly, I don't see that with you very often. :-)

> For your own info, I am compiling a list of totally contradictory
> statements you have made in the past year or so and am planning on
> including it into an article I am writing.

Interesting project, but wouldn't you mind contributing
something useful to FreeBSD, to WiFi drivers, or to the
society in general? Is your time that worthless that you
can spend it for such futile things?

I, on the other side, would compile a program that does
the same with _your_ statements automtically so I don't
waste my linear time. :-)

> And no, I don't need your
> permission.

Have I said you'd need?

You are known for picking words out of sentences and
seeing things out of context, so what could I fear,
except the WORST? :-)

> You relinquished all rights once you posted them on a
> publicly available forum. I all ready checked.

Oh, very interesting. ALL rights? In every country,
in any juristiction? I'm not a lawyer, but your
statement may be problematic especially in regards
of intellectual property as I did not include an
EULA or other licensing in my message signature. :-)

You see, I'm not discussing with you on a normal
basis anymore as you have _proven_ to mostly be
unable to - except that you _had_ brought some
valid points in the past which I even told you
and agreed with (which won't make it on your
list, will it?); you're navigating off-topic
whenever I say something about positive aspects
of FreeBSD, which you try to relativate with
some "Windows" statements out of context that
aren't even comparable, as your N example mentioned
above happily illustrates. Of course you are right
that those specific drivers are missing, and that
there's a significant lack in support of short-term
commodity hardware sold in the home consumer sector.
This does _not_ invlidate the statement that FreeBSD's
documentation is regarded as _outstanding_ by a
majority of experienced users, especially when
compared to "black boxes" and sometimes even to
how the Linux world handles documentation. Of
course you will again mention that "nobody needs
documentation" - okay, except inventors, creators,
people who actually DO something related to get
things working, or create new stuff for existing
architectures. Especially in the area where no
immense amounts of money can be spent to buy
documentation, the availability of things such
as the FreeBSD source code or the man pages can
be a big help.

Let me summarize: Those who just use don't need,
don't even WANT documentation. That's why the
documentation is primarily not intended for that
audience. You won't see colorful images like from
a children's book in the kernel source and the man
pages to explain procedures about how to maintain
the system. But I'm sure you _know_ where you can
see them. :-)

You will also have to agree that certain forms
of documentation exist with the RIGHT to exist,
because they do target different readers. Therefore
Wikis and web forums exist, and man pages (which
are _not_ a how-to, a collection of examples or
a procedural operations list). And source code is
a completely different topic as it doesn't just
assume the knowledge of the language the comments
are written in (i. e. English), but also of the
programming languages used. This is _nothing_
any sane person would expect from a casual german
user who just wants to try out PC-BSD for his
home PC (to give an example).

If your "just works" statement initially mentioned
would be true in regards to "Windows", why do so
many web forums and wikis exist for that topic?
Even books can be found ("... for dummies"). What
is their justification to exist if you would be
right? Oh yes: Unit sales, market share.

So if you're interested in a real discussion,
relapse to the fact-based and polite attitude
that you've been able to employ in the past.
I know you can do better than what you wrote
here, you've proven.

And pay attention to the damn ":-)" signs!

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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