taskSavannah Administration - Tasks: task #7027, Submission of Learn GNU/Linux...


task #7027: Submission of Learn GNU/Linux Shell Online

Submitted by:  TinkerTim <e2point71828>
Submitted on:  Sat 23 Jun 2007 09:56:07 AM UTC  
Should Start On:  Sat 23 Jun 2007 12:00:00 AM UTC Should be Finished on:  Tue 03 Jul 2007 12:00:00 AM UTC
Category:  Project Approval Priority:  5 - Normal
Status:  Cancelled Privacy:  Public
Percent Complete:  0% Assigned to:  John Darrington <jmd>
Open/Closed:  Closed Effort:  0.00

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Fri 26 Oct 2007 07:55:12 PM UTC, comment #6: 

I removed the project from the system.

Sylvain Beucler <Beuc>
Fri 26 Oct 2007 10:55:23 AM UTC, comment #5: 

Closed per submitter's request.

John Darrington <jmd>
Site AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Fri 26 Oct 2007 05:25:59 AM UTC, comment #4: 

no one seems to be convinced of the effectiveness of this idea.
No one seems to have any interest in funding it even for the sake of their own advertisement.
Makes me wonder how I got the whole thing so horribly wrong.
I do not have the abilities or time to code up such a huge project, so close it.

TinkerTim <e2point71828>
Thu 11 Oct 2007 10:37:56 PM UTC, comment #3: 

ark1980 writes:

> Hi John,
> Is it possible to wait a few days or a week more?
> Say upto 21 Oct 2007?

> Lots of things are happening here which will decide whether or not to
> host the code on Savannah.
> These developments are under certain conditions, better than hosting on
> Savannah. Yes, that is possible, strange as it may seem.

> Also, if you could classify that task as a documentation project with
> one long plain text document as the only deliverable, it looks fine to
> me.
> OTOH, merging the "documentation" project with the code, as you propose
> is not the optimum solution at present.
> The license for the document is the GFDL1.2+ as stated clearly.

> Lastly, kindly restrain from marking the project as done on the basis of
> this one email alone. I want to know your point of view as well.

> Thanks and Regards,
> /ark1980

We can certainly wait another week or two.

Please let us know then what you have decided.

Please use the tracker's web interface by following the link below. Do
not reply directly; the registration process is not driven by e-mail,
and such replies may easily get misdirected. 

John Darrington <jmd>
Site AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Sun 07 Oct 2007 09:09:37 AM UTC, comment #2: 


I am waiting for an answer from you.

If within one week I still do not get a reply, I will remove your project. You will still be able to register it again once you have the time to deal with the registration issues.

Are you still willing to host your project at Savannah? If not, please tell us - we don't bite, and it will make us gain time.


John Darrington <jmd>
Site AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Wed 26 Sep 2007 03:27:03 AM UTC, comment #1: 



I'm evaluating the project you submitted for approval in Savannah. While doing so I have noticed a few problems which are described below.

In your project description, I noted text like "Microsoft(R) Windows(TM)". Please to not use (R) or (TM) to indicate trademarks.  The trademark owner has reason to use them, but you have no reason to do so.

We prefer to approve project with source code (or text in the case of documentation projects), so we can check it for legal issues (even non-functional code is OK). We will among others check if the  files contain appropriate copyright notice and permission-to-copy statements at the beginning of every copyrightable file. Our review helps catch potential legal issues early.

If you need Savannah right now, please explain to us why; otherwise, please resubmit the project when you have source code.

If we approve your project without source code, we will review the code in the near future (or better, at your request). If then the source code does not meet our requirements (for example, non-free dependencies), we will then discuss the issue and possibly remove the project from Savannah.

Do you need the Savannah services now, and if yes do you agree with the above conditions?

John Darrington <jmd>
Site AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Sat 23 Jun 2007 09:56:07 AM UTC, original submission:  

A new project has been registered at Savannah
This project account will remain inactive until a site admin approves or discards the registration.

Registration Administration

While this item will be useful to track the registration process, approving or discarding the registration must be done using the specific Group Administration page, accessible only to site administrators, effectively logged as site administrators (superuser):

Registration Details

  • Name: Learn GNU/Linux Shell Online
  • System Name:  lglso
  • Type: non-GNU software & documentation
  • License: GNU Free Documentation License (This document is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.2, available at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.txt, OR, AT YOUR (EACH INDIVIDUAL USER) OPTION, ANY LATER VERSION OF THE SAME LICENSE.)


Hi GNUs,


This document is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.2, available at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.txt, OR AT YOUR (EACH INDIVIDUAL USER) OPTION ANY LATER VERSION OF THE SAME LICENSE.


we probably need to make learning shell commands possible without even having to install it. People don't want the hassle of backing up, installing and then learning GL (=GNU/Linux). Also, we need to remove the "download" burden so that people having low-speed internet access also are able to learn shell also without going through the hassle of getting a CD/DVD and again the tedium.
As everyone likes to say these days, learning shell commands should "work out of the box".

Another term would be On-Demand GL Shell Learning (odglsl?)

Short and sweet: Gnu/Linux Online Learning (glol?)

The "Gnu/Linux Online Learning" Project Idea Document.

1. To reclaim the desktop from a poorly designed, deliberately malfunctioning, incorrigible Operating System from a commercial-minded monopoly-loving ruthless corporation.

2. To that end, this document aims to elaborate the possible paths that can be chosen to make (fake) replicas of shells of Operating systems like
(c)Derivative OSes based on these two
available to everyone through the internet/world wide web mechanism for teaching everyone shell command syntax.

This list of OSes does not yet (23-June-2007) include GNU-Darwin since the author knows very little about the Apple(TM) point of view and the extent of its monopolistic inclinations.



The best technology to be used to achieve this end is a collection of tool-chains, libraries, languages and platforms used by what is commonly referred to as Web2.0, which includes HTML, CSS, Javascript, AJAX.
The caveat is that Microsoft(TM) Corporation, some people claim, invented AJAX technology by means of XML HTTP Request mechanism. If that be true, (I)frames or Mozilla XUL can be used for this purpose - evolving new completely free (freedom) standards, proof-of-concept programs and implementing them can be done very quickly by the participation of the global free software community.

People participation:

The best people to refine this document are (in correct order)

(a) those that lead the Free Software Foundation and Movement, namely RMS, Eben Moglen and others,

(b) those who have helped bring this wonderful technology to the masses - Linus, his team, everyone who sent a patch, Michael Tiemann (and his organization, RedHat Linux) who is the commercial entity behind making Linux heard through the otherwise biased global media,

(c) those that have made it attractive to everyone without falling to lowly "patent agreements" - Ubuntu, Mandriva

(d) those who have decided to spread GL's knowledge although while doing business - owners of all GNU/Linux-related websites, authors of blogs that support Free Software and use alternative media to make GL popular by beating the traditional mean media at their game,

(e) the friendly neighbourhood youngsters who help GL adoption by taking time off from their studies, play or girlfriends/boyfriends and help more and more people use GL on the desktop thus contributing in small part their share to alleviation of poverty and illiteracy, thus bringing the power of knowledge to the masses.

All of these people are invited to shape this document and the possible resultant multitude of projects.

Everyone is invited, except anybody who wants to and tries to strike down this Project by using misleading people using terms like "Software Patents" and "Intellectual Property" as a weapon to protect their unreasonable monopolistic commercial interests.


To ensure that nobody who earns his livelihood from teaching GL shell to the public (with ot without a fee) is harmed by this project,  more than one "business models" need to be studied.
One addition that comes to mind straightaway is the use of VOIP and video-chat technology in conjunction with such a web application. Even telephone support while simultaneously working on the shell training at hand.

The commercial angle could be handled by a micropayments system. The all-important currency exchange rate determination is crucial to this system.
The two options that follow are:

(1) allow each country to host its own version of this system, charging at rates that are consistent with local lifestyle. This will mean that no single global player should try to wrest users from all countries. This prevents "outsourcing problems" and "too expensive services" for poorer countries.

So, even though some of today's strong corporations that provide paid support services for GL could create portals of this kind that work across many regions, it is politely but firmly requsted of them to restrain their urge to spread globally so that local entities get a chance to serve their markets.

Shareholders can and do often wait, hungry children cannot, they leave very soon.

(2) a few global portals with continuously updated cost-of-living indices, calculated using the entire gamut of economics and statistics-based formulae, to guarantee that a person living in Africa, and a person living in Canada, both get to learn shell programming, online, at exactly the same effective cost - maybe a third of a month's salary, one-time.
No fixed rates in fixed currencies should be allowed.
Today's computers have more than enough computing power to re-calculate within a fraction of a second the real cost of any product or service purchased relative to the local economy.
This will also serve as a model for industries to follow, IF they wish to do so.

Clearly, the second model borders on being utopian and is therefore impractical.

Having a real shell account run and allowing users to interact with it has some drawbacks:

1. Servers must be robust. Often they are too expensive for small startups in developing countries. On the other hand, a web application is easily setup.

2. Such servers need extremely high quality system administrators. Apart from the few highly skilled ones, others will inevitably face crack attacks like DDoS or infections or plain destruction of file systems. To prevent those possibilities from creating a wrong bad image, it is far better to have a dummy web application that can run on a standard shared web hosting account.

3. Grid computing systems are already present that satisfy this kind of need for any other purpose than learning.

Some more points:

VNC, Telnet are for technically minded people or programmers. VNC is not well known outside FOSS development circles. Beginners will find those difficult. Notice how Java(TM) applets, being far superior in features and versatility still fare poorly compared to Web2.0 interfaces.
Sure there is Cygwin, but it needs a lot of other work like downloading, updating setting environment variables, etc., which is too much for a novice user.

Some more user-interface technicalities:

We could provide a lot of other features on this Web UI like a small button panel to hold buttons for help, faq, locate in kernel, locate in man, browse docs sites, etc
If we give auto-completing command help or descriptions, it makes it a sure success. We could also provide all the commands categorized in a tree view.

So, in summary, the idea is to make a complete fake Shell atop a web application - there are no real filesystems - the whole thing is a database-driven web application like any other and can be hosted ona shared hosting server as well at a cost of around USD $5.00 per month.

1. This project involves lots of coding. And therefore can be handled only by opensourcing it. A commercial organization simply cannot do it because it is effectively writing a huge chunk of a shell from scratch in PHP/Perl/Python/Ruby with Javascript/AJAX.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux#Development

2. Additonally, we are not harming any established businesses or markets, including Microsoft(R) Windows(TM), since the people who will switch to GL are those who anyway pirate Windows(TM). So the Microsoft(R) ecosystem is largely not affected.
That probably means that there will not be criminal attempts to undermine this project. I may be wrong here.

I think that my job of suggesting the idea and the caveats is done decently enough. I really cannot add much more than this.

This idea and the document originated inside my personal brain. There should not be any "IP" crap in it - I don't know if there is, since this a proper "clean-room" design.
I will obviously not claim IP violation for if I wished to, I would first go to the USPTO and not come here :) :)

In fact, it would be nice to Patent-Vaccinate or IP-Sterilize this idea - much like Copyleft.

This document is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.2, available at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.txt, OR AT YOUR (EACH INDIVIDUAL USER) OPTION ANY LATER VERSION OF THE SAME LICENSE.

Other Software Required:

This document has no dependencies. The resulting project will, obviously.
This idea and the document originated inside my personal brain. There should not be any "IP" crap in it - I don't know if there is, since this a proper "clean-room" design.

But all can be resolved since there are ample GPL-licensed libraries available.

Other Comments:

If you like the idea or think that some other free thinker will, please start the associated software project. It is beyond my skills in programming and team-management(=0.0) to undertake any significant task in this project. As mentioned above, and as done with GPLv3, I suggest an open discussion to finalize the entire project making it inclusive for everyone ( all five categories of people related to free software ).
Now is the time that GL should take charge, before a few monopolists can create problems again.

TinkerTim <e2point71828>


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  • -email is unavailable- added by Beuc (Posted a comment)
  • -email is unavailable- added by jmd (Posted a comment)
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    Follow 4 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2007-10-26 jmd StatusWait reply => Cancelled
        Open/ClosedOpen => Closed
    2007-09-26 jmd StatusNone => Wait reply
        Assigned toNone => jmd

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