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View Full Version : Very poor service descriptions, could be improved...



Perty
21st May 2007, 05:36 PM
Always when I reinstall or upgrade Fedora I turn off the services and deamons which I think I don't need.

But every time you have to look up special services to actually grasp what they are doing and it's not really easy.

Isn't there somewhere a good description of all this services?

I'll give you some examples:

smartd - Self Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART) Daemon
(Here you have to know what SMART is to understand what it does)

smb - Starts and stops the Samba smbd and nmbd daemons used to provide SMB network services.
(Here you have to know what a SMB network service is, and is it used for clients or only for server services?)

smolt - Enable monthly update of Smolt
(This is not a default, but as ussual you have to know what smolt is)

And here is some more examples where I have no clue whatsoeverer:

avahi-daemon - This is a daemon which runs on client machines to perform Zeroconf service discovery on a network. avahi-daemon must be running on systems that use Avahi for service discovery. Avahi-daemon should not be running otherwise.
(whats zeroconf?)

avahi-dnsconfd - avahi-dnsconfd connects to a running avahi-daemon and runs the script /etc/avahi/dnsconf.action for each unicast DNS server that is announced on the local LAN. This is useful for configuring unicast DNS servers in a DHCP-like fashion with mDNS.
(unicast server? mDNS?)

dhcbdb - dhcdbd provides D-BUS control of the ISC DHCP client, dhclient, and D-BUS access to the DHCP options obtained by dhclient for each IPv4 interface .
(duh?)

rpcgssd - Starts user-level daemon that manages RPCSEC GSS contexts for the NFSv4 client.
(Acronym hell?)

This was only some examples, but I will give some good examples to:

NetworkManager - This is a daemon for automatically switching network connections to the best available connection.

crond - cron is a standard UNIX program that runs user-specified programs at periodic scheduled times. vixie cron adds a number of features to the basic UNIX cron, including better security and more powerful configuration options.
(not perfect but almost)

irqbalance - The irqbalance daemon will distribute interrupts across the cpus on a multiprocessor system with the purpose of spreading the load. processname: irqbalance


This is very easy to improve, and I understand if newbies is scared away.

And why not include a link to a description or a pointer to where you can read more about the "PCSEC GSS contexts" for example. And why does all the services have to have names like they must be 8 chars? I mean that limitation was in the 20th century.

/Perty

ps. I can contribute with better descritions for some of them, anyone knows where I could send them? I just won't whine, I'll help if I can.

RupertPupkin
21st May 2007, 05:42 PM
I think you have some valid criticisms about this. The place to submit your suggestions to is http://bugzilla.redhat.com. Good luck.

lazlow
21st May 2007, 06:03 PM
Perty

I guess I have less of a problem with the somewhat cryptic names. If one really needs to know what they mean, 90%+ of us would just google them. Why waste the space? I would put it in the same category as kernel documentation. If I actually need it (rare for me) I know where I can get it.

Lazlow

JN4OldSchool
21st May 2007, 06:13 PM
yeah, but I think he has a point also. Next to LVM this is one of my sticking points with Fedora. Why so many services set on startup? Oh, it makes the distro look superhero capable to a noob with bluetooth I suppose, but for real folks...Cant we just have the needed services set and let the user decide from there? I mean, I shouldnt have to know what samba is, I dont even have a win computer on my net and if I did it would be using nfs through something like sfu nfs from ms. If someone needs something like bluetooth then they should have enough common sense to turn on the service...

Perty
21st May 2007, 08:59 PM
Perty

I guess I have less of a problem with the somewhat cryptic names. If one really needs to know what they mean, 90%+ of us would just google them. Why waste the space? I would put it in the same category as kernel documentation. If I actually need it (rare for me) I know where I can get it.

Lazlow

Yes, you are right and maybe I missed the point a bit, this is not a really big deal for me now when I have installed Fedora at least 10 times. And I have Googled and red a lot about the services.

But as a new user... Running Fedora for the first time, maybe comming from Windows (where it can be as much acronyms) it's harder to understand.

Better descriptions on this services would benefit the Fedora and the Linux community. I think.

@RupertPupkin -I'll look up that bugzilla.. (After looking it up it was not so easy as I thought... Have to register on the bugzilla and or the docs wiki and it's unclear how to contribute... It feels sometime it's really hard to just submit small portions of cotributions without getting involved 100%... I can write some docs but I don't have the time to learn how to use the wiki and all the different steps in how to submit a featureRequest, there should be a contribution@fedora.org :-)

@JN4OldSchool - Nice to hear I'm not the only one :-)

/Perty

JoeyJoJoe
21st May 2007, 09:41 PM
Perty: "I'll look up that bugzilla.. (After looking it up it was not so easy as I thought... Have to register on the bugzilla and or the docs wiki and it's unclear how to contribute... It feels sometime it's really hard to just submit small portions of cotributions without getting involved 100%... I can write some docs but I don't have the time to learn how to use the wiki and all the different steps in how to submit a featureRequest, there should be a contribution@fedora.org :-)"

I know exactly what you mean, I've sometimes thought about submitting a bug but I never really know what to do or where to look. I wish with these things there was a comprehensive "Everything you ever wanted to know about submitting bugs but were afraid to ask...".
A more general niggle in this area is that with most things computer related, or probably with any specialised area of any kind, is that some people take a view very much like if you don't know something you're a tool/n00b who should be ignored.

Anyway, if anyone ever does set up a system where we can contribute easily I'd be happy to help document some stuff - like what the SMART tools do (which I learnt about in detail when my HD died...)

JN4OldSchool
21st May 2007, 09:53 PM
Joey, I have really not seen too much of that attitude you describe. I use the term "noob" too frequently myself but I dont mean any disrespect by it, just a term for a Linux newcomer. I have never felt too stupid to ask a question and I have hardly ever been made to feel stupid for asking. There are many things I dont know about Linux, I am sure very few know most things about Linux.

I just had a good belly laugh in another forum, a gaming forum. They have a post your PC specs thread and this 15 year old posted his "awesome" specs and stated how we are all lame and pwns and he rules and all the other kiddie script 15 year old BS you would expect. The next post was another kid who wanted to argue. The following conversation was just too much. It sounded like two superdweebs going at it. "well, my X2 5800 will kick your core duo's azz" "yeah, well my 8500 GTX rulz so there" "yeah but you only have 2GB DDR2, I have 4!" Life is way too short to worry about making a fool out of yourself asking an honest question when you have dweebs like these that make fools out of themselves for a living! :)

paul matthijsse
21st May 2007, 10:00 PM
Hello,

about your "bug system" I agree, that could be made like a one-place-to-submit-bugs-by-ordinary-non-tech-users, sure.

As for the documentation of services, typing "fedora services" in google gives the following link (second search result):
http://www.mjmwired.net/resources/mjm-services-fc5.html
Perhaps that's what you were looking for?

Third, I do not and cannot agree with your statement that newbies on this forum are treated like to-be-ignored. Perhaps sometimes (because newbies can be very nasty -- and very lazy -- as well -:), but certainly not as a general rule.

Cheers, Paul.

Perty
21st May 2007, 10:23 PM
As for the documentation of services, typing "fedora services" in google gives the following link (second search result):
http://www.mjmwired.net/resources/mjm-services-fc5.html
Perhaps that's what you were looking for?


Been there done that, have that page bookmarked :-) But the descriptions on that page is much better and have links to zeroconfig for example. Yes it works with Google or Fedora forum but an OS should'nt be dependent on Google...

If anyone finds a way to easy submit contributions I'm more than happy to do so. And when we are speaking of services, maybe we could translate them also. Feels a little bit akward thou to have the description in a gui from a script. And the script is going to grow if you should support 28 languages.

/Perty

lazlow
21st May 2007, 10:42 PM
JN4

I am not a fan of LVM either (should not be a defualt). That too much junk is started by default is also a good point. Why it just does not defualt to a minimum would make more sense to me.

Perty

The reality is that it is very difficult to run any OS these days without a net connection. Yes, it can be done. But should it? I would argue that we are all better off with more documents in the wiki type format and less on the system. Why waste storage space with multiple languages or outdated material? Take a look at the books written for FC6. By the time they were released the information in them was dated. With new versions coming out every 6-9 months that is just the way it is going to be. Sites like mjmwired, Stantons (when it was updated), and this forum are far more current and informative.

Yep, the bug report system is a PITA.

One of the biggest problems I see with noobs are the ones that were an experts at windows. They think that that makes them an expert at computers. It does not. It was easier for me to teach my 4 year old nephew and my 70 year old widow lady neighbor to run linux than to teach a friend of mine (who can make w2k to hop, sip and jump).

As old as it is, I think we have to stop thinking in the same old box.

Seve
21st May 2007, 10:47 PM
Been there done that, have that page bookmarked :-) But the descriptions on that page is much better and have links to zeroconfig for example. Yes it works with Google or Fedora forum but an OS should'nt be dependent on Google...

If anyone finds a way to easy submit contributions I'm more than happy to do so. And when we are speaking of services, maybe we could translate them also. Feels a little bit akward thou to have the description in a gui from a script. And the script is going to grow if you should support 28 languages.

/Perty
Hello:
I think what you have underway is a very good idea.
In lieu of trying to get the developers to take up your idea have you thought about touching base with FedoraSolved.Org (http://fedorasolved.org/)

Seve

paul matthijsse
21st May 2007, 10:56 PM
Seve, thanks for that link, it's bookmarked (why didn't I see this site before..?)
Paul.

JoeyJoJoe
22nd May 2007, 08:50 PM
Paul: Third, I do not and cannot agree with your statement that newbies on this forum are treated like to-be-ignored. Perhaps sometimes (because newbies can be very nasty -- and very lazy -- as well -, but certainly not as a general rule.

I wasn't actually talking about this forum - I think everyone here is pretty good, and when I looked in the ToS etc. for the forum it did say not to have a go at n00bs or use l33t. I was talking more generally about the Linux "scene" as it were... Like bugzillas... They should have a simple system where you can submit things easily without coming up against the wrath of developers for 1) getting something slightly wrong when they don't explain what they want or 2) getting flamed because they claim the problem is solved when it obviously isn't (even if you can prove that). Maybe I'm just being picky (they mostly work hard, for free, after all) but its a feeling that a lot of other n00blets have too