Fwd: Issue : wireless networking "on-the-fly"

Lionel Dricot (aka Ploum) zeploum at gmail.com
Wed Feb 15 16:33:23 GMT 2006


I will try to describe major issues I have with network-admin (or I have
To answer Sebastion, my bash script usually does this simple thing :
 mv /etc/network/interfaces.home /etc/network/interfaces
/etc/init.d/networking restart

1)  It doesn't work most of the time !

Usecase :  Lionel has a DHCP network at home. he go to school with his
laptop where he's asked to use a static IP.
He use network-admin to enter all needed info and he hits "Apply".

at best, he will wait during 1min30 or 2 minutes without feedback and it
will work. Sometimes, after waiting, it still doesn't work (without
feedback). Worst : sometimes (+/- every 3 times), he will wait till the end
of the times...

Lionel doesn't understand because editing the file /etc/network/interfaces
with vim and doing a /etc/init.d/networking restart takes 15 seconds (by
hand !) and works every time !!!!

2) Places switching

( I'm not sure that this "bug" is a real bug or just an usability one. I
heard once that I simply don't understand how to use this feature correctly.
Giving that I never found anyone able to use it and that every laptop users
(and ubuntu beginners) complain about this one, I suppose that I'm not
entirely dumb. )

Lionel has to switch very often between home and schoole. He decides to
create two places in network admin. So he select "create a new place" (not
sure, I'm using the french translation).

Nothing happens.

Could he change the settings now ? He does...   Well, we admit that it works
and the new place is correclty configured. (but, really, I don't remember I
ever saw it working this way without trying 3 times, killing network-admin
and waiting 3 days).
Lionel called the place "school".
Lionel creates a new "home" place. He supposes (because there's no feedback)
that now he can type the "home" settings. Suppose it works (scifi power).
He's now in "home" settings. But He wants the school one.

He selects the school place. Nothing happens. The settings are still the old

Oh, sorry, something happens !  DNS entries are deleted. (It happens very
very often that Network-admin choose to delete your DNS settings)

3) Hotspot

My friend has an Open wifi. I just want to access it. I don't understand.
iwlist see it. But it (sometimes) doesn't appear in ESSID field. I must
manually input the ESSID. Apply. After waiting and waiting Oh no... No more
connection at all !  Oh no ! He decides to try the wired interface altough
it's not used ! Oh !   I just want a list of available networks, wired or
not, that ask me for the WEP key if needed and that remember it if I must
come at this place again.

* * * * *

So, that were my complains about network-admin.

If I understand, the goal seems to switch to NetworkManager, sooner or
later. Interesting, I was not aware of that.

I've apt-getted "network-manager" and I've lost my connection. I don't
understand how to use it. (two processes are running, NM and NM daemon).
Can someone explain to me ?  (I don't see any new icon, any new applet...

Some brainstorming  :

- I've watched tons of new users when they open network-admin for the first
time. The list of physical interfaces is not needed at all. They do not
care, they are looking for something else.

- The first window will contains a list of available (because already
configured) places with the current one highligthed AND a the content of the
currently active configuration (displayed in a non-editable way).

- You can  "add a place", "modify a place", "remove a place" and, of course,
"use this place".

- When you add or modify a place, you can enter all the settings AND : 1)
the physical interface used for this place 2) the smtp server to use when
connected from this place. (that's the most requested features I've ever
heard. It's incredible how people need this. I suppose it's a big dream
since it involve e-d-s hacking ..)

- If a connection is lost or at boot, we can imagine that it will try all
the available places in a given priority order. (for example, we can add a
"up" and "down" button to the places list and say that the displayed order
is the priority order, whatever...)

- When you will click on networking applet, it wil bring you a menu with all
available places so switching will really be easy.

- If a connection fails, it will tell you that it cannot connect to the
network XXX. Maybe are we not at place YYY ? (in the range for wifi, cable
connected for wired)

- It will works ;-)

I'm sorry if my first mail was not constructive. It is sometimes difficult
for me to express some ideas in english. My wish was also to see if things
were moving for this particular goal.
I want to help on this topic as much as I can. So, if someone want to work
on this, don't hesitate to contact me for more explanations, for testing, or
even for coding if I can (small software with small learning step and
preferably not alone ;-) )

On 15/02/06, Vincent Untz <vuntz at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> On Wed, February 15, 2006 10:36, Sebastien Estienne wrote:
> >> I don't know why we would need to remove the wifi part of
> network-admin,
> >> though...
> >
> > not only removing the wifi part, but also the dynamic ip part.
> > the reason is that network-manager handle these 2 tasks better than
> > network-admin does.
> > And having to way to configure the wifi will be confusing for the end
> > user.
> > Also the wifi part or network-admin is the part that doesn't work well.
> I agree that it's confusing to have two tools. The thing is that I might
> want a static configuration for wifi too. And I believe it's easier to
> make the static/non-static distinction between the two tools for now.
> But ideally, we'd have only one tool...
> Vincent
> --
> Les gens heureux ne sont pas pressés.
> --
> ubuntu-desktop mailing list
> ubuntu-desktop at lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-desktop
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