Subject: Re: Netboot Guide
To: James K. Lowden <>
From: Alex Kirk <>
List: netbsd-docs
Date: 02/19/2003 02:53:55
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> I made much the same complaint on 13 January.  Let's collaborate.  

I actually saw that when browsing back through the archives a bit, and it 
was heartening to see port-dreamcast people aren't the only ones who feel 
that way. :-) 

> I think the netboot document should be converted to SGML DocBook.  Then,
> maybe, with a little cleverness, we can generate machine-specific
> documents instead of one generic document with many architecture-specific
> parts.  I don't know how to do that, but I'm pretty sure SGML provides a
> mechanism.  

Ummm, quick thought: since we're all volunteers in our spare time here, and 
since neither of us knows SGML (or so I assume by the comment above), 
perhaps it would be smarter to not tackle a whole new language for doing 
this -- particularly since there's not necessarily agreement on whether 
machine-specific docs vs. a generic one with arch. specific stuff would be a 
good idea. To the latter end there, is the netboot process so completely 
different from machine to machine that it'd make sense to have a document 
per architecture, that a generic overview would be impossible? 

> I agree particularly that there should be a step-by-step, itemized list,
> protocol-by-protocol, daemon-for-daemon, of what happens.  IMO the netboot
> reader is required to synthesize too much, and sometimes has to read
> between the lines where the specific advice is out of date or not
> applicable.  

This seems to be the overriding opinion of everyone I talk to. It just seems 
like it's too far above the average head, and then too short on clarifying 

> My experience comprises two vaxen and one sparcstation.  So, I'm no expert
> either, but at least I can claim a different corner.  

More experience is always good. :-) 

I think the first step, before anyone really does too much, is to come to 
agreement on what exactly needs doing. I'll see about relaying your idea to 
the other two folks who have expressed interest in this -- and hopefully get 
them to subscribe here so we can centralize discussion. :-) 

Alex Kirk 

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