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Re: newbie still: ldapdelete: why won't it.

You have great examples of dns in your email:

>>>> dn: dc=shadshed,dc=com
>>>> dn: cn=admin,dc=shadshed,dc=com
>>>> dn: uid=jdw,ou=People,dc=shadshed,dc=com

When OpenLDAP software expects a <dn> argument, it knows it's a dn and
does not expect a "dn: " label. So, for instance:

ldapwhoami -D "cn=admin,dc=shadshed,dc=com"

would be OK.

ldapwhoami -D "admin"
for instance, where "admin" is not a dn, would not be OK. Neither would
ldapwhoami -D "dn: uid=jdw,ou=People,dc=shadshed,dc=com"

because the "dn: " label is not proper dn syntax (it's just cluing you
that it IS a dn). You can and likely should read the RFCs for more
information about DNs. I think they're in the doc/ directory (if they're
not, google for them).