Dave Walker (
Wed, 05 Aug 1998 20:55:19 -0500

J.D. Jordan wrote:
> At 05:13 PM 8/5/98 -0700, you wrote:
> >Um...some people claim they _do_ RTFM and still have problems. I think the
> >docs are fine, for people that are used to going through the process of
> >mixing what they can find _IN_ the docs with a little instinct,
> >initiative, and common sense. User Friendly nowadays is a M$/MAC
> >inheritence that seems to be based on the concept of guessing how to make
> >things more intuitive as opposed to giving more detailed documentation.
> >People are only doing what they are conditioned to do. People want and
> >expect, rightly or wrongly, intuitive application interfaces and when they
> >don't
> >get it they become frustrated with the application/developers regardless
> >of how good/bad or whatever the documentation might seem to those who
> >write it or use it with great effect.
> >
> > -Michael

I, for one, have no problems with the wharf OR the pager. What confuses
the hell out of me is the "look" vs "feel" files. 

An example; I just tried to highlight and delete text in this message
using "Shift+Cursor down". Instead of doing what I expected it to do,
the Netscape window scrolled off the screen. Now, I had this fixed at
one time, but now I'll have to experiment again. Is it the "look" file,
or the "feel" file. Do I go to ~/GNUstep/Library/Afterstep..., or do I
go to usr/share/...?

I've _read_ the docs; then I _READ THEM AGAIN_. Then I visited websites
that supposedly would explain how to configure AS. They, were, however,
out of date by the time I got to them.

AS still isn't behaving as I expected.

As this is my first post to this mailing-list, I want to emphasize that
I'm _not_ here to bitch and moan. I've tried Enlightenment; I've tried
Windowmaker. I keep coming back to Afterstep because I find that it, for
the most part, performs the way _I'd_ like a window manager to perform.

The devil's in the tweaking, and, to a lesser degree, the documentation.

Tension has been running high in the mailing list lately. Actually,
given the current KDE/Gnome flamewar going on, tension seems to be
running high in the Linux community at large. 

And this is not a _good_ thing.

I think that AfterStep _is_ a good thing. I also feel that Gnome/gtk are
good things. I'm still fence-sitting on KDE.

As you might gather from the length of this message, I seem to have
_entirely_ too much spare time on my hands. I've been itching to get
involved in this Linux "bazaar", but my C coding skills are extremely
rusty; I'm currently employed as a Systems Administrator/Programmer at a
company who's main application is written for the Advanced Pick
platform. (Never heard of it? I hadn't either until I took the job. It's
a 'different' database platform, and the programming language is "Pick
Basic", which I've been coding in almost exclusively for the last four

However, I have _some_ experience as a technical writer, ( I spent
almost three years writing basic electricty/electronics tech manuals and
lab guides in the Navy ) and feel I may be able to make a contribution
in this area.

If any of you AS 'coders' out there would like to pass the dirty job of
'documentation' on, ( and yes, I wrote a _few_ lines of C code in my
time, and I 'hated' commenting too ); and wouldn't mind a flurry of
email questions along the lines of "how do you do this" and "what does
this line of code mean, I guess I'm volunteering to write some
documentation on "how to configure Afterstep". As an example, off the
top of my head, one of my first questions to you would be "What do the
two parameters to EdgeResistance represent?)

What have you got to lose?

If you're interested, (and I'm addressing _only_ the folks who are
actually writing code), you can reach me at

I promise you no flashy web-sites or fancy graphics. I do promise that
if _I_ can understand it, I can write an explanation in "plain" English
that practically anyone will be able to understand. (Ever tried to
explain Kirchoff's Law to a high-school graduate?)

That's my 2 cents. There's my offer of help. Don't let the naysayers get
you down; make them satisfied "customers" instead.

Fight the good fight...
Dave Walker
Systems Administrator/Programmer