[Bug 191889] Re: [MASTER] [WORKAROUND] "Offline Mode" feature fails to detect proper online state for networks that are managed outside of network manager.

Klaus Thorn klaus at trillke.net
Tue Dec 23 23:57:34 UTC 2008

Firefox 3.0.5 starts in offline mode, failing to detect that I am online
(with a connection which Opera, ping and apt-get all know to use well).

The online connection that is not detected by firefox (nor network
manager) is via UMTS, on an Asus EeePc 901GO, using wvdial and pppd. All
these programs are part of an Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop wiith kernel
2.6.24-21-eeepc i686.

If all programs acted like firefox 3, I woud have had no chance to help
myself, because I did not search nor find the "offline mode" in the
"file" menu. I searched it in the network settings, (just a hint for
the usability "experts" out there).

This issue is not only technical but political. I think it is an
important aspect and I will not search another hour for the correct
place for publishing it, this place is good enough:

It is obvious and reported here that the crucial user experence with
firefox is crushed in many cases by this bug. It is easy to understand
that improving the detection of online states will always be inferiour
to just try to connect, because the latter depends on less other
programs. Those programs, like all software, will have bugs and missing
features, which curretly is the case. Neither do I expect Network
Manager or Firefox to understand  all features of wvdial or pppd nor
should firefox rely on Network Manager or dbus. I think it is clear that
correctly auto-enabling the offline mode is much less important than
being able to use an online connection.

Despite all of this, the bug got closed, people are told that they don't
write enough information, that the bug is a bug of another program, or
that part of their reports have nothing to do with this bug. All of
these counter-arguments do not lead to a solution but do defend the
problem and the problematic decision to auto-enable offline mode due to
messages from dbus, network-manager or whatever.

Changing the behaviour of Firefox (back to always start in online mode
and just try to connect) isn't difficult in terms of problem-solving or
programming. It was there in Firefox 2 I assume, so it is more a
decision than a technical problem. Who decides? And who decides whether
a technocrat, bureaucrat or service-oriented human is dealing with this
problem? Do the ubuntu users have influence here? Or the firefox users?
I had enough technocrats and bureaucrats giving answers in politician's
style, instead of solving problems in Firefox, Openoffice etc.. So if I
am part of the power deciding about Firefox and Ubuntu, just because I
use it, spread the word about it and install it on dozens of machines,
then I vote for starting firefox in online mode by default and for
replacing the persons dealing with this bug. Wether they are paid or
altruistic, they should not be able to continue to worsen this fine
piece of software. It's like with the lights on my bicycIe: It should
not turn off automatically, even if someone from the producers claims
that the brightness sensor is the problem. Forget the sensor, just let
the lights shine!

Installed packages:
Installed: firefox	3.0.5+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.8.04.1
Installed: firefox-3.0	3.0.5+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.8.04.1
Installed: firefox-3.0-gnome-support	3.0.5+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.8.04.1
Installed: firefox-gnome-support	3.0.5+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.8.04.1

** Attachment added: "/etc/network/interfaces"

[MASTER] [WORKAROUND] "Offline Mode" feature fails to detect proper online state for networks that are managed outside of network manager.
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