[ns] NS tutorial update proposal
Pedro Vale Estrela
pedro.estrela at gmail.com
Tue Jan 16 22:29:32 PST 2007
To Joachim: Many thanks for your documentation efforts
To all other NS2 users, especially for the recent ex-beginners:
__Please contribute to the NS2 Wiki__ with your experiences and conclusions.
More info: http://mailman.isi.edu/pipermail/ns-users/2006-June/056015.html
(Comments are inline)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joachim Fabini [mailto:Joachim.Fabini at tuwien.ac.at]
> Sent: sexta-feira, 12 de Janeiro de 2007 11:00
> To: 'Pedro Estrela'
> Cc: ns-users at isi.edu; 'Joachim Fabini'
> Subject: RE: [ns] NS tutorial update proposal
> Hi Pedro,
> > You are, of course, 100% correct - the tutorial is outdated
> > and its very confusing to first time users.
> > One problem is that, in general, NS2 users ask much, but
> > contribute little when they have their questions solved -
> > either by the help of somebody, or by their own.
> Your statements match very close my first impression as NS2
> newbie. Reading through the mailing list archive helps, but
> I also noticed that - compared to other groups - there are very,
> very few people (won't mention names ;) who regularily answer
> questions - thanks to you and to the other members for their
> help and time.
> As about the reason for the rather low feedback on the mailing
> list I can only speculate: on one hand, the plain NS is pretty
> complex, and people new to NS seem to try the "minimum effort
> approach" - instead of searching through the archive they
> immediately send their question to the list. This yields a high
> ratio of "noise" traffic. As soon as users become familiar with
> NS they focus on their specific task and many of them no longer
> actively participate in the list. On the other hand
> the high number of patches, releases, and variants (moreover the
> incompatibility of some of these patches with each other) make
> answering questions on NS more difficult.
> In addition it seems to me that NS is used mainly in the academic
> field, where people usually leave after having completed their
> project (paper, thesis, etc.) - sadly enough sometimes without
> leaving behind any usable documentation of their patches/modules.
> So it's up to us (academics, be it students or supervisors) to
> make sure that we contribute something back to the community -
> and prepare students for real life by forcing them to document
> what they have done and giving this back to the community.
> Only as an example, regarding chapter VII of Marc's tutorial -
> in half an hour the person who changed the ping sources and
> included the sources into the NS distribution could also have
> updated the related web pages. If someone else is expected to
> do this, it takes him definitely longer to find out what
> exactly was changed and why... I tried to include all details
> that I have noticed into my posting but I'm almost sure that I
> skipped some.
Regarding this particular case, I think that first this useful info should
be stored on the NS2 wiki ASAP. At that time, I'll have no problems asking
on the NS-Developers Mailing list for someone with write access to put a
link informing where the updates and changes are located in the NS2 wiki.
Besides that, I think that the best way to maintain this and other parts of
the documentation, would be to port the whole tutorial to the NS2 wiki and
automatically redirect the existing page at
Again, I can ask on the developers mailing list for it, when the information
is ready at the wiki.
> > Some examples from my personal experience:
> > http://mailman.isi.edu/pipermail/ns-users/2006-June/056015.html
> > http://mailman.isi.edu/pipermail/ns-users/2006-January/053560.html
> Yes, it's sad - but I repeat myself: the problem is that those
> who have gained a medium level of experience in NS and who have
> used the work of all previous NS developers are the target group
> for these contributions - having spent two days on NS does not
> give me the experience to find out all changes (and the reason
> for these changes).
> > Regarding this particular topic, what I suggest is to:
> > - create a page about NS2 tutorials in the NS2 wiki, which
> > could be used to detail the important changes for recent
> > versions of NS2 of this, and possibly other tutorials.
> Good idea, but I see the tutorial maintenance as an orthogonal
> task to what you have proposed. The tutorial pages have such a
> high rating in search engines (like Google) that users will find
> the initial tutorial first. So imho the only way how to solve
> the problem is to keep synchronized the text and sources of
> these tutorials first - or take them offline, which is also not
> the solution that I'd like to go.
(please see response above)
> > However, in my opinion, major improvements in problems like
> > this will only be possible if more users take the action to
> > contribute.
> I completly agree with your point of view.
> Thanks anyhow,
> best regards
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