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Re: Problems building X/Cygwin (no XpConfig)

For what it's worth, I thought a user's comments might be useful, even if it's a criticism.
The keyword here is "user", namely, I have no idea how to write or improve the code
for something as complex as the Cygwin project. Consequently, I can not help improving
the documentation, I could only point out that on several occasions I was reading the
docs looking for answers only to find that my questions are not covered there.

To be honest, I have to say that I have been using Cygwin quite succesfully for a very
long time now and never had any installation problems. The setup utility works for me.
Moreover, I have last updated my instalation several month ago. Given that it works,
I see no reason for updating since new updates do not bring extra functionality. Having
said that I should specify that my use of Cygwin is rather limited: I use Cygwin/X when
I need to open a window from another (unix) machine on my PC; when I need to run
a unix app that does not have a windows implementation (xfig mostly); I use the sshd
to connect my two computers at home (may be an overkill, but I just do not know a
better way, the microsoft stuff never worked for me there); finally, Cygwin enables me
to run simple shell scripts when I need to manage large data files. That's about all I
need (everything else is already there on windows) and with the exception of the sshd
everything works like a charm.

However, the documentation is mostly about installation and some Cygwin-specific
variables. There is none or next to none information on how to actually set up the ssh
server (I found the info in the mailing list archives, but when things went wrong I could
not find anything further); there are no details on how one could customise the configuration
files (may be that is trivial to those who's programming for the project, but for me at
least it is not); there were some other questions that I do not recall just now that I was
unable to find in the documentation.

I agree that there is no point in flaming the Cygwin developers who are doing this
apparently for free, at least users are not paying for Cygwin. It is not therefore a
product (in commercial sense) and of course nobody here *has* to provide support.
You could categorize me as clueless (which I am, as far as programming is concerned)
and say I do not belong here. But then, if not for user's sake, why would you do it in the
first place?

In summary, a better documentation would in fact be very helpful.

Boris. wrote:


You can take comfort in the fact that you've actually accomplished
something constructive with your life that has benefitted many people.

Contrast that with the "documentation sucks" people and the people who
think that they help by sending cliche-ridden manifestos about the way
things ought-to-be done.  Even if the documentation did suck and even if
the project was horribly managed (both false premises) you can claim
satisfaction in the fact that you are actively doing something which is
demonstrably helping many people.

The critics, no matter how articulate they are (I'm sure there must be
at least one articulate critic out there although we haven't seen one
here in a while) usually do very little to help.  In a free software
project, there really is little excuse for someone taking twenty minutes
to write a message when they could have spent twenty minutes improving
documentation or fixing code instead.


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