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Re: FreeBSD 5.3 setup help

From: LD
Subject: Re: FreeBSD 5.3 setup help
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 21:57:57 +1100

Hi Alex et al,

On 17/02/2005, at 8:13 AM, Alex Perez wrote:

LD wrote:
thanks very much Chris for the straightforward explanation!
Does anyone know why such simple information is not provided with the online documentation? Before Chris' reply it had felt like trying to get blood from a stone...

We can add it, but I'll need you to elaborate on specifically which part you think was missing and where we should add it so others don't have the same frustrations. Thanks for bearing with us through them, we appreciate it even if that might not be outwardly apparent.

Great - good the hear. Yeah I suspect with the current state of things that many would have (and will) simply give up trying to piece together all of the disparate set-up information. That would be a shame given the quality of GNUstep. At the very least if such info is readily available it's not easy enough to find.

So, here's been my impressions along the way regarding a first-timer/newbie to GNUstep, the available documentation and the ease with which it was to find...

The initial site page is well presented. It's simple and the right-hand menu makes it immediately obvious where to start... e.g., Introduction, Getting started etc.

The message that "GNUstep itself is not an operating system, window manager or desktop environment..." is made abundantly clear on the front page as well as the Introduction section (e.g., "At no stage will you ever 'run' GNUstep - you will run applications and tools and will make use of its services.") but regardless the new user is looking for a quick-guide to 'running' such an environment (even if such an environment is technically formed by the combination of various apps, tools and services...but no such quick-guide is provided. What I mean is that perhaps in an effort to be platform agnostic the set up instructions are also lacking concrete substance such as info on setting up an example system or systems. I understand that such information on configuring X11, WindowMaker et al should be provided elsewhere with quick-links to them but lets face it: Xorg's docs are lacking as is WindowMaker's which does not even tell you what to do once compiling the source! A series of documentation dead-ends. So the persistent user like me jumps onto a mailing list to fill in the blanks which you would have assumed would have falling into the FAQ, or better - the Installation Guide.

Obvious question: where, then, is the information in the GNUstep Installation Instructions that provides a where to from here? There's a Good Luck! :-) But the user needs to know how to verify and configure the set up _with_ X11 and some WindowManager. Such info is absent.

An example involving setting up GWorkspace would probably better allow the newbie to get their feet wet.

I'm installing on FreeBSD 5.3 - but I noticed that the extensive install guide for Linux on the made-it site also stops short of detailing what to do once the thing is compiled.

The hurdles I faced along the way were:
__Platform specific instructions__
need updating so that GNUstep can be installed from ports. i.e., you need to add the following to /etc/fstab (& reboot):

proc    /proc   procfs  rw      0       0

then you can install from ports without problems:
cd /usr/ports/devel/gnustep && sudo make install clean

Next steps:
1) set up GNUstep environment (e.g., set timezone) Step 4 of instructions...
2) install X11
3) install WindowMaker
4) Configure the above (and briefly discuss how)
5) Maybe Install example apps

Configure GWorkspace etc

Perhaps discussing in a little more detail the .xinitrc/.xsession files and giving examples.

What do you think?

with regards,

Lachlan Deck

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