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Re: Current docs are too comlicated for new Postgre users; thoughts on improvement

From: Bruce Momjian <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>
To: Nikolay Samokhvalov <samokhvalov(at)gmail(dot)com>
Cc: PostgreSQL-documentation <pgsql-docs(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Current docs are too comlicated for new Postgre users; thoughts on improvement
Date: 2009-01-09 14:45:36
Message-ID: 200901091445.n09Ejad18055@momjian.us (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-docs
Peter has made a change to improve this:

	III. Server Administration
	15. Installation from Source Code
	16. Installation from Source Code on Windows
	17. Server Setup and Operation

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nikolay Samokhvalov wrote:
> Currently, Part III (Server Administration) starts with three chapters:
>   15. Installation Instructions
>   16. Installation on Windows
>   17. Operating System Environment
> 
> Here in Russia we have a situation, when the number of Win32 users of
> Postgres is constantly increasing, so more and more questions like
> "I've tried to install Postgres, clicked next/next/ok/ok/finish in
> installation wizard, but it doesn't work / service cannot start / I
> cannot connect" appear.
> 
> The problem is that we cannot just say "RTFM" them, because it's
> really hard to find (and in some cases even impossible) to find the
> proper part of docs. Why? The chapters 15 and 16 of the main docs are
> not about installation -- they are about building Postgres from
> sources. Currently, even for *nix DBA installation most frequently
> means really installation from RPM/.deb/bsd ports/etc, including
> creation of system user and running initdb.
> 
> As for Windows users, I haven't meet at least one who needs to know
> how to build Postgres from sources under Windows! And really often I
> see that Windows users cannot continue after some silly errors with
> initdb process. Docs cannot help them -- they open Chapter 16, got
> stuck and go away. And only really experienced DBAs know, that initdb
> (one of the most important processes for newbies) is described in
> "17.2. Creating a Database Cluster", which is located under "17.
> Operating System Environment" in the main contents listing.
> 
> I think that docs really need to be clarified, at least titles should
> be corrected. I'd rename chapter 15 to smth like 'Building from source
> code on *nix platforms", and 16th one to 'Building from source code on
> Windows' and chapter 17 (most important) to 'Creation and Initial
> configuration of database cluster' (maybe with some corrections of
> contents).
> 
> Going further, I'd remove detailed building instructions from the
> beginning of Server Administration part (either to separate but single
> chapter or even to appendix) and describe in details how to install
> Postgres in different ways on different platforms, including:
>  - installation from RPM/deb/other packages;
>  - special attention to Windows users (how to install? what are common
> problems?) /* btw, I won't wonder if win32 version of Postgres is
> being downloaded more often than others */
>  - short version of installation from sources;
>  - initdb process;
>  - initial configuration on different platforms.
> 
> I believe that this question is one of the most important when we are
> thinking how to grow user base.
> 
> Thoughts?
> 
> -- 
> Sincerely yours,
> Nikolay Samokhvalov
> Postgresmen LLC, http://postgresmen.ru
> 
> -- 
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-- 
  Bruce Momjian  <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>        http://momjian.us
  EnterpriseDB                             http://enterprisedb.com

  + If your life is a hard drive, Christ can be your backup. +

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