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

From: Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>
To: Bruce Momjian <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>
Cc: Nikolay Samokhvalov <samokhvalov(at)gmail(dot)com>, PostgreSQL-documentation <pgsql-docs(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Current docs are too comlicated for new Postgre users; thoughts on improvement
Date: 2009-01-12 15:09:10
Message-ID: 496B5D16.90702@gmx.net (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-docs
Bruce Momjian wrote:
> 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

That is what I said ...

> 
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> 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
>>
>> -- 
>> Sent via pgsql-docs mailing list (pgsql-docs(at)postgresql(dot)org)
>> To make changes to your subscription:
>> http://www.postgresql.org/mailpref/pgsql-docs
> 


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