>I have a question about the OpenVMS' online manual on net. Why
>don't open it to everybody? The only reason I can figure out is that
>Digital want to sell it. I think that is wrong, the company should
>try to sell their system while not the manuals, the manuals should
>be the ads of the system.
Good manuals cost a -lot- of time and money to create.
Digital (and every other computer vendor i know of) charges money for
those manuals in part to recoup their investment.
Digital is -not- alone in charging: my HP-Unix manuals cost over $1500.--
more than my VMS documentation. And were -far- harder to order ("you want
Most manufacturers also offer their manuals on CDrom... digital's costs
-less- than the paper manuals.
Quote:>If more people know the system, I believe
>there will be more people to buy the system. Then more software, more
>people know and more people buy. If you sell one more system,
>I don't know that will correspond to how many copies of manuals.
Most sites will not buy the manuals until they buy the systems.
Some -will- buy the manuals first, if they are investigating a major
conversion effort between their current system and the new one. But
by the time they -buy- the new computer, the manuals will be (slightly?)
Quote:>Although several very kind people in this group told me that the
>"HELP" is all I need, I think the manuals might be very helpful
>for a new user, and he/she can spend several days to go through them
>and pick up quickly.
You are correct... HELP is -not- enough to do everything you can think of.
The manuals have additional examples, and (usually) present the information
in a progressive form: first "how to log on", then "how files exist",
then "how to find a file", then "how to make a file", then "how to edit a
HELP sort-of holds you in the air above all possible topics and requires
that -you- choose (often without adequate background knowledge) which
topic to explore. And the order in which you explore them.
Quote:>For example, from the "Help" you will not know
>the difference between "symbol" and "logical", how to use "DCL".
Some of the above can be gleaned from examples (in often obscure places),
but the VMS HELP system was written with the idea that the documentation
set was available to you -somewhere-.
Quote:>When I first use "EDIT", I was only in line mode, and got prompt "*C".
Someone else suggested SET MODE CHANGE... i prefer <esc>c<return>.
Quote:>I didn't know how to write the "EDTINI.EDT" file. For a programmer,
>more details about the library and functions are needed.
Few of my users have ever -touched- writing an EDTINI.EDT file.
Quote:> For a programmer, more details about the library and functions are needed.
i've always considered HELP to be a "memory jogger" for argument-order,
or a "basic introduction" to whatever i'm trying to do. I rely on manuals
to fill in the background, the logical structure and provide well-worked
examples (and simultaneous multi-page access). I buy manuals.
Fast lookup CDrom systems help (DECbookreader -really- lags compared to HP's),
but paper volumes still fit my work patterns better (they're easier to read
while standing in checkout queues, etc.)