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Article from zemag Issue 3, October 2005

What is the BeSly?

The BeSly is a platform for the provision of German tutorials and documentations about BeOS and Zeta. This includes all other BeOS version, such as the Open BeOS project Haiku.

It initially focused on translations of ReadMe files and documentation of programs and games. However, it was soon changed to create our own tutorials. This was because there was usually very brief, superficial and mainly English instructions, and therefore made the description of a program from ground up more sense. Today we released an extensive collection of over 90 instructions and 20 translations in just one year.

What is the BeSly created?

The idea to do a project in favor of BeOS and Zeta, existed long before the BeSly arose. Even then we came across questions for which they had received no satisfactory answer. Even the use of existing information bases like BeTips and the DeBUG are not able to help in many places. Addition to this, which is held the BeTips exclusively in English and the DeBUG indeed had ready many topics, but the mixing of the results of the search function of the forum contributions and the assistance it difficult to filter out the right posts.

The beginning was probably the compilation and recompile of the Lingua Sourcecode, which produced a German version, although still all languages translated into English, but had a German navigation. The accompanying manual was then translated and published for the installation package of the LinguaDe version. This was followed by translations of the readme files and documentation of Samba and MeTOS.

On the basis of these translations then consideration has been given to make these files on a platform for the community available. First, it was considered this to intrigue into an existing platform, but this idea was rejected because some of the team members had a bad experience there. So a new platform had to be created, its implementation was discussed at the Hamburg (Germany) User Meeting. The plan was a page in HTML and/or PHP, with a simple and resource-friendly interface. In addition, the site should be fully functional in German and compatible to the NetPositive browser. The menu should be similar to the division of the ZETA-menus, since this implies a slight Search of assistance on specific topics.

Now, the question why ZETA should serve as a model here. This is easily explained because ZETA is the official latest version of BeOS.
From different people, sample structures for the website were created. They experimented with locations for navigation, text boxes, etc., and the present structure was maintained at the end. There were further translations and a few already existing instructions intregiert into the side, so that they could then go online on 18 August 2004.
First, the BeSly team get a lot of criticism, and the side was foretold of only a short life. Some criticism like the try to split the community, but this was totaly absurd, because the idea was to make a meaningful thing for the community. Practically a counterpart to the English-speaking BeTips page.
In addition, the BeSly also a positive side effect for the founders of the side had, as they are very active in yellowTAB Forum and its instructions were now in a position to answer recurring questions with a link to the respective manual, and a constant to avoid repeating answers.

How greater the amount of instructions, how greater the demand from the community for the BeSly which today enjoys an average attendance of about 70 visitors. Unfortunately, it's never been a collaboration with the DeBUG. Here the BeSly wanted to be a partner of the DeBUG partner program.

BeSly projects

SambaSwitcher: Sometime a ZETA user came to the BeSly and presented his already very far advanced configuration of the SAMBA Server. The plan was to create a script that allowed a network connection between two computers. After an intense exchange of mails, a meeting was organized and we start to worked together on the script. We create a additional navigation and we were looking through hours of leaves in BeOS-books and surfing the Internet for information for ways to read certain information from the system to use. This had to be removed for the use of certain files, copied, or re-created ensured. It was particularly interesting to see how early on in the script could display these his status by changing the icons. Later we creates an extensive manual and then we included all into a install package.
Problems such as the use of different versions ZETA by changes in the directory structures and file locations have been mastered. Even the Cifsmounter problem was solved by creating the Samba Switcher clients. Thus, the Samba Switcher is now functional at all ZETA systems.
The last change of the Samba Switcher Client was created past release of Zeta 1.0.

PHP Support for RobinHood: Later followed the PHP Support Project, which enabled a simple benefit of the RobinHood server as a Web server. Here, the PHP support is added and we set a solid working directory so that the user knows where it must store its websites.
We also creates a extensive manual and a install package for this project.

What is planned for the future?

To make speculations about the future is always very difficult, because it raises many questions with hasty statements in the room and later perhaps not reached goals constantly could be the subject of discussions. One consideration, however, the checks currently being discussed by the BeSly internally and still is to create a book version of the knowledge base. Here, it is considered how far this is at all useful, since anyway everything is available online, and what costs may bring such a project with it.
Then surely the expansion and improvement of the new DeBUG is one of the main issues, but that have little to do with the BeSly itself. In any case, there will be further instructions and also held for new meaningful projects such as the Samba Switcher out.

Summary

With the BeSly was proved that it is possible even without programming knowledge to provide a meaningful contribution to a community. Everyone can make a difference, even if this part is still so small. He just needs to have courage to implement his ideas and not get distracted by other negative reviews or concerns of its target.

Translation and Article by Christian Albrecht, October 2005 for the zemag Magazin
Made available by BeSly, the Haiku, BeOS and Zeta knowledge base.