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 From:  Adam Nellemann <adam at nellemann dot nu>
 Cc:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] The MDP Initiative
 Date:  Sun, 30 May 2004 04:06:01 +0200
Fred Wright wrote:
> On Sat, 29 May 2004, Anthony Brohan wrote:
> 
> 
>>First off, the documentation cant be *that* big, I'd estimate around 
>>500kb for it. And 500kb can easily fit in the RAM twice. This being the 
>>documentation in raw text. This raw text documentation could help, ASCII 
> 
> 
> I would expect it to be HTML, not plain text.  And I wouldn't want to put
> "keep it small, it's taking up RAM" pressure on the writers.

HTML (without a images) isn't much larger than plain text, and I 
hardly think, even with the most verbose writer of context help pages, 
that it will get very big (and as suggested, it could easily be 
reduced a lot by simple compression, should that unlikely situation 
arise).


>>art could be used for the figures. If the documentation were to be 
>>online, there would be no question that the site got flooded, and every 
>>time you boot up your m0n0wall using PC-CDROM as many of us are it would 
>>have to download again and again. I'm seeing '503 Bandwidth limit 
> 
> 
> Only if you're keeping it in RAM.  Otherwise, it only gets
> "loaded" (regardless of source) when you actually look at it.

I'm not quite following either of this? My original suggestion wasn't 
that m0n0wall should fetch the entire body of help files from a server 
each time it boots. The idea was that the context help was in the form 
of (external) links to server based help pages (HTML). This way 
m0n0wall would never even see those pages, as they would be requested 
by the browser (and the load would be exactly the same as will be on 
the current documentation project server!)


> Since CD is obviously the worst case, pick an existing CD with some HTML
> documentation on it, and see if the performance of browsing it from the CD
> is really so awful that you have to put it in RAM to speed it up.

No, I agree, no matter from where the help pages are fetched, I don't 
think it will be a problem, and people having to refer a lot to the 
help will benefit from their browser having cached it (assuming again 
that we're talking about HTML).

= = =

Aside from all this, I'd like to point out that the original poster 
specifically talked about "context" help. This, to me, suggests a 
short explanation of each functionality in m0n0wall and its settings, 
with pointers (links?) to further reading whenever a complex topic 
can't be fully covered with a brief explanation.

If the idea isn't to include the full m0n0wall documentation project 
on future CF images, but rather a few paragraphs for each page (and/or 
setting), I hardly think the total size of such a "context help 
system" would be much of a problem (aside, perhaps, from those 
m0n0wall users unfortunate enough to already having RAM/CF space 
problems, for whom any addition to the image will spell trouble).


Adam.