The Author Online Book Forums are Moving

The Author Online Book Forums will soon redirect to Manning's liveBook and liveVideo. All book forum content will migrate to liveBook's discussion forum and all video forum content will migrate to liveVideo. Log in to liveBook or liveVideo with your Manning credentials to join the discussion!

Thank you for your engagement in the AoF over the years! We look forward to offering you a more enhanced forum experience.

DavidS (34) [Avatar] Offline
#1
Maybe I'm jumping the gun but I've just finished Chapter 3 and I must say that I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of depth in this chapter specially considering that this is how this book is advertised.

In particular I would have hoped to see the following topics covered:

1/ Ssh config files so that we don't have to keep putting the user name and host address
2/ Port forwarding was just mentioned but an example would have been good
3/ Ssh agents

I understand that not everything can be covered but these topics are very helpful.
David Clinton (92) [Avatar] Offline
#2
DavidS wrote:
I understand that not everything can be covered but these topics are very helpful.


Hi,
I definitely understand your disappointment. But your last line does a good job highlighting the problem. We chose not to make this a reference book that covers everything, but tried instead to write something that would match the way most people learn and get them working on real and productive projects in as short a time as possible.
Of course, that choice automatically came with a limitation: we'll have to ignore 95% of Linux functionality.
Acknowledging those limits, the goal is to quickly introduce readers to as many core services and operations as possible. This would hopefully give each reader the information and tools necessary to dig deeper to satisfy any specific project needs.
With that in mind, adding topics like port forwarding and ssh-agent - and comparable detail for all other chapters - would be helpful, but would probably double or triple the length of the book. And it would fail to address our goal of finding a common core of critical skills that are as widely applicable as possible.
Or to put it another way, would not knowing the details of streamlined SSH logins and port forwarding (and similar skills) prevent readers from quickly gaining access to the core tools? I would argue that it wouldn't.
Does this make some sense?
All the best,
David
DavidS (34) [Avatar] Offline
#3
Hi,

I do appreciate that adding such content would inflate the size of the book.

How about the following idea? One of the problems is the fact that if you don't know that something exists, then you don't know that there are tools out there to solve problems you didn't even know you have.

For instance, take the ssh-agent. I didn't know that it even existed until a colleague saw me typing my password in everytime when using git and he told me about ssh-agent.

So maybe at the end of each chapter, you could add a section for further reading explaining what problems one will likely encounter further down the road and what tools are out there. For instance, I don't even know what I would have to google to reach ssh port forwarding.

Just my two cents on how to make the book more appealing.
David Clinton (92) [Avatar] Offline
#4
DavidS wrote:Hi,

How about the following idea? One of the problems is the fact that if you don't know that something exists, then you don't know that there are tools out there to solve problems you didn't even know you have.

For instance, take the ssh-agent. I didn't know that it even existed until a colleague saw me typing my password in everytime when using git and he told me about ssh-agent.

So maybe at the end of each chapter, you could add a section for further reading explaining what problems one will likely encounter further down the road and what tools are out there. For instance, I don't even know what I would have to google to reach ssh port forwarding.

Just my two cents on how to make the book better.


That's certainly something that would be worthwhile to explore, but I can see some built-in limits. For instance, to make even a brief reference to ssh-agent intelligible, it would require a good paragraph or two explaining the problem it was meant to solve - well, actually the multiple problems it can solve. I don't think it would be enough to simply say "you can allow passwordless SSH login using ssh-agent" without also discussing which password (or passphrase) that means...which might also force us to distinguish between a remote login password, local sudo authentication, and the ssh-add passphrase.
My general rule of thumb when making tough decisions over what to include and what to cut was whether a reader can get a job done without this tool. If the reader can, then I would (usually) leave it out.
I will give this some more thought, though.
Thanks,