NetworkManager on Gentoo

I'm not too sure if there are many people using Gentoo on this list, but
I've seen considerable interest, so I hope at least a few are here. Of
course, hopefully anyone will be able to weigh in on this.

Gentoo has recently changed the network init scripts, and most notably
(for NetworkManager) the config format has changed drastically. The
current backend parsing is already not the fanciest, and to do the new
format, seems nearly impossible. (See attached example config file)

I can understand the need for a way to store static IP information, for
those that choose to use it, but the current method seems to have a lot
of problems. So far as I can tell, the only reason for the seperate
backend files is to define: Programs in use, program location, static IP

Hopefully Dan's DHCP work will lead away from distribution specific dhcp
clients, and it appears as if iproute2 is already in use for all
distributions. If iproute2 were to be made a dependency, the only
purposes served by the seperate backend files would be to define the
(generally standard) iproute2 binary locations, and to parse
configuration files for static information.

The way it's implemented now seems like overkill for such a small task,
especially considering the extremely small amount of information taken
from the config files.

Now I'm just going to toss this into the air, but what if:

NetworkManager had a standard location to define static IP configuration


The only thing distribution specific would be the location of binaries
that get called.

This will make it very easy to use NetworkManager on any distribution,
and requires very little user configuration. I've not used anything but
Gentoo for a while, so I'm not sure if the configuration files on other
distributions get made by GUI tools. If so, I could see some users not
being thrilled about editing the file by hand. Which is an interesting
segue to my next question. 

How much can be set through the dbus signals? More specifically, would
it be possible to force a static configuration? If so, it should be
quite easy to implement a dialog in the applet so that a user could
force a static configuration, and perhaps a handy little checkbox could
be checked to have it set as 'default', writing the values out to
standard config location. The reading of this file could be done reusing
the code from the Red Hat backend using shvar, which, taking a look,
also supports setting values, making saving just as trivial.

I see this naturally progressing to an ability to have multiple static
locations defined, and selectable.

Having now deviated sufficiently from the point I had set out to get to,
and seemingly never got to, in a most wordy and disorganized way, please
consider this an unofficial request-for-comments. I'd really like to see
a move away from all the distribution specific code, as well as the
ability to letting users easily manage static IP configurations.


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