Re: A comment on NetworkManager

My comments inline.

On 5/10/06, Peter Roediger <p roediger gmail com> wrote:

1.) Wireless networks list.
There is no "Search for wireless networks" or "Refresh wireless networks list" button/option in the applet. While this seems to be convenient in the first place it turns out to be not in some cases. Consider this: Many laptops nowadays feature an LED that shows the status of the wireless connection ( e.g. flashing when it's not connected, etc.). Thus people will naturally switch the wireless network off when it's not needed. Then, they might disconnect their wired LAN at one point and go to some place that is supplied by a wireless network. Now, they turn on their wireless network card by a hardware switch and...they have to wait. They have to wait until NM will update the list. Which will take some time. The average user will not understand this behavior. But the average user would understand an option mentioned above. It's easy. Easier than a WEP key.
Or something else: You walk around in a foreign city in order to find a hotspot to logon to. There is a desperate need to update the list immediately. It's simply crucial.

I can see the use of this but I use N-M a lot while traveling through airports and hotels and have never had a problem yet (Though I do have a problem with ad-hoc networks but that is a seperate issue).  It has reliably detected networks for me everytime without a lot of waiting.  The advantage of the way NM does it now is that if I see a Network in NM I know it is not some phantom network just out of my range.

2.) The configuration issue.
In my view NetworkManager is one of the most intransparent linux applications out there. There's no Documentation (correct me if I'm wrong), there is no configuration file easily accessible and there are weird things going on with resolv.conf. How is it configured? How can I change the DNS server without violating "# generated by NetworkManager, do not edit!"? Do I have to use a special program to set this up? If so, then just write it down at some place. I've been using Linux for 5 years now and having problems to set up basic things with an application that is supposed to be a snap to use.

I think Dan has said that this is something they plan for .7

3.) Profiles.
I know, you don't like them. You think, they are an inconvenient user experience. Well, while I understand your pursuit of simplicity i don't really get what is so bad about profiles. You could present the user with some sort of a default profile. No further setting up is required. It just uses the settings specified in /etc/network/interfaces as usual. On the other hand, there are A LOT of people who use their laptop at home and at work or at the uni or wherever. And in those places there is no dhcp available in many cases. So what is so evil about letting the user create profiles so he can easily switch to the appropriate one? That is something so many criticize about Windows: They always have to change their network settings. Every day. That is not even close to "user-friendly". And again: With a bit of explaining the average user will indeed be able to set up profiles. If he is capable of changing the network settings every day, he'll be capable of creating profiles. For sure.
And it's just so useful.

I think something like this is in the pipeline for .7 but I am just an interested party who reads this list so Dan would have to comment on this directly.

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