Anyone else having issues with RH product documentation download?

Latest response

Since RedHat modified the customer portal to include little widgets on the documentation download, it now takes forever to download the books one at a time. The widgets do not allow for easy canvasing to, for instance, download all of the PDF document types using a download manager. Also, because the document download page does not display a date of last update, one must download a document just to see if it has been updated since the last time it was accessed!

I did submit a case asking for a zip or tar file archive of all the PDF documents to facilitate downloading and a date of last update to be displayed by each book. RedHat says they are taking both suggestions under advisement to see if anyone else should express similar desires.

So.. Here's your chance to weigh in if the current product documentation portal is not working well for you...

Best Regards,

Dale

Responses

Dale,

I'm in charge of much of the Customer Portal's engineering and specifically the future of Documentation tooling, internal and external. I'd like to know more about your use case here. I understand that you wish to sync certain (all?) formats of the docs locally. But what's your use case here? Mobile reading? Archiving? Internal sharing? Disconnected stations?

Interested to hear your needs. Separately, I'll add myself to your support case and take a peek there. But happy to have this discussion out here in the (relative) open!

-Chris

Hi Chris - I'll chime in (for a use-case)... I enjoy being able to pull down the entire catalog (essentially) of all the RHEL 6 docs, for example, and then sync them to my tablet for offline reading and reference. Previously I had done a recursive wget of the entire document home (not efficient).
The new format of HTML doc has a nice aesthetic, but it is somewhat difficult to read that format on a tablet (the TOC on the left consumes quite a bit of real estate) - perhaps the style could be different based on the type of device accessing the doc?
I like having all the docs local in hopes that I can use my desktop search (or tablet search) to find the correct doc.
All docs should have all the same viewing options - i.e. if one doc has HTML, HTML-single, PDF and EPUB, then ALL the docs should have those same formats available. It was tough to find an example - so perhaps they are being created as time goes by.

For a specific example: please review the RHEL 7 - Logical Volume Administration (for formats then look-and-feel on a tablet).

With all of that said - the present situation is completely acceptable. I am able to (fairly) easily get what I need without much fanfare. So, I wasn't complaining ;-)

Thanks for the information - I'm going to add this (and Dale's) use cases to our road map and see what we can do.

Hi Chris;

Yes, our use case is that we keep an offline copy of the PDFs in an internal documentation system. This is to facilitate finding the documents from lots of different vendors when the on-call person may be unfamiliar with the vendor in question. From time to time, we re-synchronize the offline docs system with the vendor's docs. In this case, that is very difficult with out: 1) a readily available time stamp to show if a document has changed since last download, and 2) an easy way to download all of the documents on a single subject as a tar or zip archive. We used to use a download manager to grab all of the PDFs at once of the documentation page, filtering by the link pointer document type, but the new widgets require manual interaction in order to select the PDFs.. Alternately, I can do as James suggested and just use wget to mirror the entire docs site, but that is quite in-efficient and still requires me to sort through a bunch of downloaded material that I do not want or need.

Thanks, Dale. This will help us prioritize our work. Appreciate the detail!