[Newbies] Better Support for Beginners Please!

Bert Freudenberg bert at freudenbergs.de
Thu Jan 22 11:20:58 UTC 2015

On 22.01.2015, at 07:43, Casey Ransberger <casey.obrien.r at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jan 21, 2015, at 10:04 PM, Kirk Fraser <overcomer.man at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The Squeak.org main page needs a few changes.

Lots of good suggestions, thank you!

>> 2) The LINUX instructions at page bottom are not for beginners. Under Beginners there should be a one click solution for installing Squeak in a majority of Linux systems including Kbuntu.  Lacking that, the Beginners heading needs detailed explanation of what all this means and how to accomplish it.
> If you're using a Linux based system and you aren't able to administer it yourself, there are a number of third party support providers who can help. That said: if you're using Linux and can't support it, that tends to end up on your shoulders. UNIX, discounting OS X, tends to be a bit like flying and aircraft without a copilot. 
> What I really think we need here are folks from the major distros who are willing/able to roll packages based on both the bleeding edge and the recent stable release. Same deal with the various BSDs. 
> We haven't found these folks yet.

Yes, but this is the beginners list, and Kirk is listing issues a beginner might encounter.

>> How does one check if one has X Windows installed?
>> How does one check if one has 32 bit libraries installed?
>> How does one check if one has file permissions "addressed"?
> These are general UNIX questions, and are better directed toward forums devoted to those topics. Remember: Smalltalk is NOT UNIX.

Indeed, we cannot provide a complete unix tutorial. But it would be a good idea to make clear in the installation instructions what level of familiarity with unix is expected. And even better, include pointers to where to learn it.

>> Where does one enter the command line?
> Seriously? I think there's a book called Linux for Dummies...
>> What does a sample command line look like in the top 5 Linux variants?
> Go forth, find the truth for yourself, and put it on the wiki? What are the top five Linux variants? Sorry to cockblock here, but I'm a BSD fan, so I don't know or care. 

Language. Also, again, this is the beginners list.

It would be *very* helpful for a beginner to get told the exact command line s/he needs to type to install Squeak. And if that command line is different between variants of Linux, we should indeed list them for the most popular. It's a safe bet that a beginner would use a popular distro, meaning Mint/Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora/SUSE.

>> Better yet, where is a one click download and install for Linux systems?

Our all-in-one is supposed to work on Linux too. We just must make sure it actually does, and provide easy-to-follow instructions.

For discussion on how to make this better we should move over to squeak-dev. Here on the beginners list, we try to answer questions, not raise new ones :)

- Bert -

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