Server issues

Soren Hansen soren at
Wed Nov 21 12:37:07 UTC 2007

On Tue, Nov 20, 2007 at 11:38:50AM -0600, Loye Young wrote:
> > It's perfectly intelligible to someone who knows zeroconf, avahi is
> > just an implementation of of it.
> Well . . . that's my point: You have to already know zeroconf to
> understand the documentation. But that's silly, of course, because if
> you already know how it works, you don't need the documentation in the
> first place.

It's difficult to write documentation that strikes the perfect balance
in this situation. Let's take a different example: Apache. Should
Apache's documentation spend a lot of time explaining what HTTP is and
how it works?  Should it explain TCP?  IP?  Ethernet?  Electrons
travelling through copper? All of that information is useful,
interesting, and all of it plays a significant role when Apache is
serving web pages to a browser, but not really in scope if you're just
trying to get a web server running.

I'm not saying that the avahi documentation has drawn the line at the
right level of detail; I'm simply trying to make the point that "the
right level of detail" is not an unambigious entity.

A lot of folks have a basic understanding of how http works, so a lot of
that can be left out of Apache's documentation.  That is (for the time
being) apparantly not the case for Avahi and zeroconf, but just like the
details of http are of relatively little interest if you just want to
start serving web pages with Apache, the details of zeroconf are of
relatively little interst if you just want to discover or broadcast
services on your lan.

Soren Hansen
Ubuntu Server Team
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