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iceportal
May 28th, 2007, 05:45 AM
Hello everyone! Just wanted to let you guys know about a project I've been working on called the Ubuntu Experiment. Basically, it's a bunch of tutorials designed with new users in mind, in an effort to make moving to Ubuntu from Windows simple. At the moment, it has covered the main installation, as well as Desktop Effects, FTP clients, IM and Skype, email setup, and DVD Video. There will be many more tutorials to come.

http://ubuntu.gridrunners.com

I wanted to post this here so that everybody knows about the project and can send me their thoughts, suggestions, complaints, and whatever else they deem necessary. (Please, no spam.)

I've spent years working with linux, and all the while have heard many myths about usability, lack of hardware support, lack of decent software, and various other topics. Having seen how simple Ubunty 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) was to use, I decided it was a good time to create a page specifically dedicated to helping the new user get acquainted with Ubuntu 7.04.

Hopefully, it will (someday) be useful to old users as well as new, with tutorials on all sorts of topics. I'm excited about seeing where this project goes, and would love any input everyone might have.

Thanks!

dhruva023
May 28th, 2007, 05:51 AM
your idea is prety nice.

Palmyra
May 28th, 2007, 06:34 AM
It is remarkable you are creating a website just like mine! I find it very funny, because we have much of the same goals: to present Ubuntu (for me, no other distros - I don't believe in introducing newbies to the choices they have) in a easy to understand manner without beginners having to rely on the command line interface.

Furthermore, you and I both make extensive use of screen shots (don't we all like screen shots?). Also, my website is broken down into guides. I currently do not have enough to publish the website, but I am trying to work on creating more and more content.

Because of the close nature of our websites, we should probably be working together. I use CMS Made Simple (a content management system) which works well (I haven't tested it, but I guess it does) in a multi-user content creation environment. Hopefully, other members of the Ubuntu community will contribute guides.

iceportal
May 28th, 2007, 07:14 AM
It is remarkable you are creating a website just like mine! I find it very funny, because we have much of the same goals: to present Ubuntu (for me, no other distros - I don't believe in introducing newbies to the choices they have) in a easy to understand manner without beginners having to rely on the command line interface.

Furthermore, you and I both make extensive use of screen shots (don't we all like screen shots?). Also, my website is broken down into guides. I currently do not have enough to publish the website, but I am trying to work on creating more and more content.

Because of the close nature of our websites, we should probably be working together. I use CMS Made Simple (a content management system) which works well (I haven't tested it, but I guess it does) in a multi-user content creation environment. Hopefully, other members of the Ubuntu community will contribute guides.

Hi! I'd be happy to collaborate with you. So far, my guide has been step-by-step, where users can follow me along in my adventure, or (if they like) they can skip ahead to whatever section they want.

I've coded the entire thing from scratch, and everything (except the BG image and the ubuntu logo and the images in the footer) are my own creation. I use PHP for everything.

I'd be glad to collaborate with you, combine our sites in some manner. Maybe we could open up for more community input as well. However, I would like to stick to a simple interface with good design, easy to navigate for new users. I'd like to branch out and start teaching users how to use the software preinstalled with their Ubuntu systems, as well as how to install and use new software.

Let me know your thoughts and views. It might be viable for us to combine our efforts and make a single site. But at the same time, if our goals differ, it might be better to stay independent.

In any case, community input is important to my site, so I'd be happy to see more of it.

Thanks for your comments!

aysiu
May 28th, 2007, 07:17 AM
Am I the only one who is getting a bunch of dead links when I try to see the tutorials?

By the way, I've been maintaining a site like this (http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu) for almost two years. You may not like it, though. Sometimes it has screenshots. Sometimes it uses the command-line. Sometimes it mixes and matches. The idea is to promote a good balance of understanding and ease of use.

shen-an-doah
May 28th, 2007, 07:31 AM
Am I the only one who is getting a bunch of dead links when I try to see the tutorials?

By the way, I've been maintaining a site like this (http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu) for almost two years. You may not like it, though. Sometimes it has screenshots. Sometimes it uses the command-line. Sometimes it mixes and matches. The idea is to promote a good balance of understanding and ease of use.

Yeh, I'm getting dead links too.

I'm gonna stick a link to aysiu's site on my blog for now as a complete guide to beginning Linux was something I overlooked (mine mainly focuses on music tech applications of Ubuntu/Linux/OSS).

If you get your site sorted, I'll stick a link up there too, as screenshots are usually pretty damn helpful to very new users...

Titus A Duxass
May 28th, 2007, 07:35 AM
The links work ok here.

smoker
May 28th, 2007, 07:41 AM
Hello everyone! Just wanted to let you guys know about a project I've been working on called the Ubuntu Experiment. Basically, it's a bunch of tutorials designed with new users in mind, in an effort to make moving to Ubuntu from Windows simple. At the moment, it has covered the main installation, as well as Desktop Effects, FTP clients, IM and Skype, email setup, and DVD Video. There will be many more tutorials to come.

hi, good stuff, nice easy style, i think it will appeal to new users:D

the links work ok here,

cheers:D

shen-an-doah
May 28th, 2007, 07:43 AM
Ah, I've found the problem, it's javascript!

Are you running noscript, aysiu?

TheMono
May 28th, 2007, 07:46 AM
I faintly recall aysiu mentioning in a post a while ago that they use noscript, so that could well be it.

userundefine
May 28th, 2007, 07:48 AM
The links work with javascript turned on.

I recommend you outsource the javascript links to an external file, link by default to an actual page, but then in your out.js you can usurp the normal link action and redirect via javascript if you like with a return false; on hrefs. Either way, right now your page is basically non-existent to search engine bots because they don't follow js links.

Good luck with the site.

aysiu
May 28th, 2007, 08:04 AM
Ah, yeah. I forget. I do have NoScript on!

Palmyra
May 28th, 2007, 08:20 AM
iceportal, we should talk about where we agree on things, and where we disagree. If we have similar ideas, it may be better to work together.

I truly appreciate aysiu's work, but I could never agree with him on his balanced approach. I am absolutely anti-command line (as anti-command line as Castro is anti-capitalism), and I don't see that changing. I don't intend on providing ANY guides that require command line use, even in part.

I do value his work, and I quite frequently link newbies to his website, but I'll be phasing those links to supplement them with guides that do not require any command line use.

shen-an-doah
May 28th, 2007, 08:24 AM
If you're not using the command line, you're either going to have to consciously neglect K/Xubuntu users or double/triple your workload. Just to let you know.

aysiu
May 28th, 2007, 08:28 AM
I truly appreciate aysiu's work, but I could never agree with him on his balanced approach. I am absolutely anti-command line (as anti-command line as Castro is anti-capitalism), and I don't see that changing. I don't intend on providing ANY guides that require command line use, even in part. I fully appreciate that. If there's one thing I've learned from having been a teacher, it's that people have different learning styles. I'm a big fan of and will often recommend to people http://www.monkeyblog.org/ubuntu/installing, for example, but I still stand by http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/installingsoftware as being a straightforward guide that helps users understand what they're doing.

mdsmedia
May 28th, 2007, 08:43 AM
Ah, yeah. I forget. I do have NoScript on!Funny how easy it is to forget it's switched on.

I've occasionally sent support messages because a site doesn't work, only to remember later that I have NoScript on....and funnily enough the site works fine when NoScript is disabled :)

SoulinEther
May 28th, 2007, 08:56 AM
I'll be glad to help you in any undertaking.

Email is soulinether gmail (its a dot com).... (ponders to self, why have I given my email, or written it so as to prevent some bots from attacking it?)

If I could make screencasts for you, I would. I'll see what I can do. I can write guides, do whatever.

aysiu
May 28th, 2007, 09:07 AM
If I could make screencasts for you, I would. I'll see what I can do. I can write guides, do whatever. If you have screencasts, you may want to contribute them to Ubuntu Clips:
http://ubuntuclips.org/

SoulinEther
May 28th, 2007, 09:11 AM
That would be exactly why I thought of them, :)

iceportal
May 28th, 2007, 03:28 PM
Am I the only one who is getting a bunch of dead links when I try to see the tutorials?

By the way, I've been maintaining a site like this (http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu) for almost two years. You may not like it, though. Sometimes it has screenshots. Sometimes it uses the command-line. Sometimes it mixes and matches. The idea is to promote a good balance of understanding and ease of use.

Do you have javascript turned off? If so, that's why the menus don't open for you. (I'm working on getting the CSS to auto-hide/auto-show the menus without needing JavaScript.)

iceportal
May 28th, 2007, 03:31 PM
The links work with javascript turned on.

I recommend you outsource the javascript links to an external file, link by default to an actual page, but then in your out.js you can usurp the normal link action and redirect via javascript if you like with a return false; on hrefs. Either way, right now your page is basically non-existent to search engine bots because they don't follow js links.

Good luck with the site.

As a matter of fact, my JavaScript IS in an outside file, called scripts.js. (http://ubuntu.gridrunners.com/scripts.js)

Basically, when you click one of the headers, it changes the style for its menu from 'display:none' to 'display:block' (or vice versa) so it shows/hides.

lakersforce
May 28th, 2007, 04:10 PM
I looked at a tiny little bit of your site and here are my suggestions:

How about changing the license to the GNU free document license?

The very first thing you should mention is that Ubuntu can be experiences from a liveCD without any changes at all!

Tell people of all the languages Ubuntu comes with and that you can choose your language in the boot menu by pressing F2.

Palmyra
May 28th, 2007, 06:56 PM
If you're not using the command line, you're either going to have to consciously neglect K/Xubuntu users or double/triple your workload. Just to let you know.

I know. I purposely ignore Kubuntu and Xubuntu users, because I feel they have decided on their own to use a desktop environment that is outside the norm. As a matter of personal responsibility, they should then, therefore, fend for themselves. I do not intend on providing any Kubuntu/Xubuntu support, because my guides are, in part, a way to hopefully incfluence beginners in sticking with the mainstream, and relinquish their choices.

If you buy a Toyota, you'll be guaranteed that you'll find replacement parts for much less than, say, a Mercedes. Using what other people use has many advantages.

aysiu
May 28th, 2007, 06:59 PM
While I think you have a point (to a certain degree), I don't agree fully with the Toyota analogy. Kubuntu and Xubuntu are official Ubuntu releases and also included in the Main Ubuntu repositories.

I would say that someone should create good screenshot guides to Kubuntu and Xubuntu, but if people want to limit their own guides to only Ubuntu, they're entitled to that self-imposed limitation.

iceportal
May 28th, 2007, 11:38 PM
iceportal, we should talk about where we agree on things, and where we disagree. If we have similar ideas, it may be better to work together.

I truly appreciate aysiu's work, but I could never agree with him on his balanced approach. I am absolutely anti-command line (as anti-command line as Castro is anti-capitalism), and I don't see that changing. I don't intend on providing ANY guides that require command line use, even in part.

I do value his work, and I quite frequently link newbies to his website, but I'll be phasing those links to supplement them with guides that do not require any command line use.

Well, this is where we differ then. While I would like my tutorials to avoid command-line use, I do eventually intend to introduce users to the command line and how it can be used simply and quickly to do various tasks.

If it can be done without the command line, then I'll tell them how. But if I discover a really neat and useful trick that only requires basic usage of the command line, I see no reason why I shouldn't introduce them.

The point is to prove that the command line isn't necessary to do most tasks, and that when it does come to play, it's not as difficult as one might think. Hopefully, this approach will lessen the user's fear of the command line and help them get accustomed to using linux to the fullest.

I'd be grateful of any advice, hints, tutorials, and whatever else you'd like to provide. But I'm not going to be vehemently anti-cli.

After all... One of my biggest complaints about linux was that I could never get my broadcom wireless card to work. Just the other day, I found a very simple way of getting everything working, involving the command line and about 5 sequential commands. After executing them in turn, my wireless card worked, and has ever since. Why wouldn't I share this with the world? ^_^

iceportal
May 28th, 2007, 11:42 PM
I looked at a tiny little bit of your site and here are my suggestions:

How about changing the license to the GNU free document license?

The very first thing you should mention is that Ubuntu can be experiences from a liveCD without any changes at all!

Tell people of all the languages Ubuntu comes with and that you can choose your language in the boot menu by pressing F2.

Good call on the GNU FreeDoc License. I'll check it out soon as I can. I should also create a category for using the LiveCD, and various tricks to try out.

I will soon be moving to a new interface, once I figure out which CMS I intend to use. (Trying to decide between Joomla and Drupal, but I need to know how to create an Ubuntu skin for 'em, unless one already exists.)