[syslinux] hello world

Ady ady-sf at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 1 13:43:57 PST 2015

> On 02/01/2015 10:27 AM, Ady via Syslinux wrote:
> > FWIW (this info can be found elsewhere too): _ "SYSLINUX" refers the  
> > install the bootloader files on the adequate boot area (see ...
> Ok thanks, this also would be good information 'up front'.  I can only 
> comment on how it could be better for a beginner, not in what is 
> actually available if you know where to look.
> > http://www.syslinux.org/wiki/index.php/Install ). 
> I never found that before, I see it's linked under 'Permanent link' 
> which isn't much of a clue.
No, a "permanent link" is a way of linking to a specific _version_ of a 
wiki page. Let's not go off-topic. For a list of all the pages in the 
wiki, click on "Special pages" and then on "All pages".
> >> The "active" partition is a part of how a (MBR) partition table
> >> (usually) works together with the MBR's boot code. There is (enough)
> >> information about such issues in the official Syslinux wiki and
> >> elsewhere (Distros' wiki pages, wikipedia, blogs, forums...). The
> >> Syslinux wiki also includes information about several alternative boot
> >> code for the MBR.
> Sure. It's just that on HHD LILO doesn't need it at all so I forgot all 
> about it. As I said, perhaps there could be a warning, just for guys 
> like me who forgot. Or maybe we should just wake up ;-)
As I said, the info is in the wiki, among other places.

We could be adding information for each-and-every "boot" topic, even 
those subjects that are "standards" or "common practices" while they 
are not specific to Syslinux. But there is no point on repeating 
information that is posted elsewhere (such as in Wikipedia, among 
others), except for proper Syslinux matters (or course). The links are 
there, and this Syslinux Mailing List should be helpful too.

Adding too much information (all together) would be counterproductive 
and harder to maintain. New users would probably be scared, thinking 
that it is more complex than it really is. Instead, there are pages for 
each subject, and users can find the relevant info in each page, 
building on prior, more basic items.

I have seen enough users asking questions about things that are "right 
there up front" for someone to find them, but they don't even bother to 
perform the most minimal search. Many (most?) users don't even read 
documentation, no matter how (in)complete it could be.

And then we have "non-new" users searching for some particular 
information. If you have too much info together, it makes it more 
difficult for specific details to be found.

As an example, instead of the whole SYSLINUX page, you could read (for 
1_ Install
2_ Config
3_ Library_modules
4_ CLI
5_ Special_keys
6_ Menu

And there is more. Some users do not need CLI, while others want to 
learn about special keyboard combinations...
> >   
> >> The Simple Menu System is not an exclusive part of the EXTLINUX
> >> bootloader (or exclusive to any one Syslinux variant), so it would not
> >> be the adequate place for such info. Internal links, wiki categories
> >> and the "search" feature in the official Syslinux wiki are available,
> >> together with official documentation published in several formats (the
> >> latter is not always up-to-date).
> Ok, but surely one sentence to tell us to include 'libutil.c32'? Or some
> link to more information? I had no idea this was something external.
There is simply no way to simultaneously satisfy every type of user / 
reader :).

In the particular case of lib*.c32 files, I hope you find the "Library 
modules" wiki page user-friendly and complete enough so to answer to 
such matters.
> >   
> > Syslinux configuration is based on LABELs, so there is a slight
> > difference when comparing to LILO.
> Yes, the double meaning of the word is confusing with LILO too.
> > Please keep in mind that as of version 6.03, SYSLINUX can only find
> > files (e.g. kernel, initrd...) located in the same volume where the
> > bootloader is installed.
> Yes, LILO is more powerful in that department.
> >   
> > There are more than 100 pages in the wiki, in addition to the official
> > documents included in the official archives (in kernel.org).
> And thanks for the extra links.  I will read it all eventually.
I think reading the wiki should answer to most of these questions. I 
must say that when a user has a practical specific issue, I would 
expect the information in the wiki to be useful. Trying to learn 
"All-things-Syslinux" without specific cases / goals / purposes would 
make it harder, IMHO.

Additionally, reading the Syslinux-related configuration files included 
in distros' ISO images should also help users build some knowledge and 
understanding about Syslinux directives.

All this is not to say that there are no things to improve in the wiki; 
we know there are.

I certainly appreciate the feedback. Please keep it coming.

Thank you and Regards,
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