Re: Problems with latest network manager

On Fri, 2008-10-03 at 18:50 +0100, Tim Hawkins wrote:
> GSM modems now seem to be completely broken and no longer function. I am
> unable to make a connection 
> on a previously functioning system. 
> Hardware: Acer Aspire One. 
> Modem: Huawei 169G ( very similar to 220 )
> Provider: Three UK, Orange UK 
> OS: Intrepid Alpha6, tracking changes in update manager. 
> Version effected: 0.7~~svn20080927t101113.0-ubuntu1
> symptoms are:
> 	1) The GSM modem connection now prompts for a password, even though the
> password 
> 		is provided in the configuration for the connection, the password does
> not 
> 		seem to do anything, if i enter a password, it is immediately
> rejected, too 
> 		fast to have been used in a connection attempt. I have even tried
> entering
> 		network password, admin password, keyring password, all to no avail. 

I may have just fixed that yesterday; if the PPP server didn't take the
password the first time and re-asked, then NM would re-ask since the
server apparently didn't like you.  NM will now try the password at
least one more time before actually asking you.

> 	2) The password above is shown on the entry dialogue in clear, so now
> everybody on the 
> 		train next to me can see my password as I type it. Should show
> shrouded and 
> 		have a "show password" check box under it as per all other dialogues. 

Yes, the dialog there needs some work to:

(a) prefill the existing password
(b) add a "Show Password" button
(c) show the user as well (though that can't be changed there, it should
be shown for informational purposes)

> 	3) The connection type (GPRS, UMTS etc ) is not retained in the
> connection info screen, changing 
> 		it and then reentering the editor shows it was not saved, the default
> however 
> 		is "UMTS", not "Any" which it should be. (side note, UMTS is not a
> well understood term
> 		outside of the US, cant we just use simple terms like 2G, 3G , any).

Really?  I've _never_ heard anyone in the US say "UMTS", but I've heard
tons of people in Europe and elsewhere use it.  The US never actually
deployed UMTS alone, both T-Mobile and AT&T (and the regional GSM
providers) pretty much jumped directly to HSDPA/HSPA.  There are
certainly UMTS _phones_ running around, but all the providers use their
custom terminology for that.

> Setting 
> 		this wrong seems to result in a "disconnect" message  immediately when
> dialling, and since you 
> 		can no longer set it ... well ..... 

Those options don't actually do anything at this time since each piece
of hardware has different mechanisms for changing bands.  That and other
options in that dialog will be hidden before release.

> 	4) Setting a connection to "system" is not saved, existing connections
> i had set to "system"
> 		have mysteriously disappeared, i had a number of connections setup for
> the multiple 
> 		testing accounts I have on this machine, now they are no longer
> visible. How do I 
> 		get to my "system" connection definitions now.? 

It's likely  that the plugins your distro has set up for system settings
aren't capable of saving (ifupdown, ifcfg-fedora, ifcfg-suse).  The only
one that can write out information is the keyfile plugin which isn't
enabled by default.

Before 0.7 is release, the system settings service will stack the
plugins and saving will work correctly when both a read-only and a
read-write plugin are in use.

> 	5) The connection configuration  editor dialog will often (most of the
> time) under circumstances i cant yet pin down, not enable 
> 		the OK button on the conf dialog, leaving only Cancel there. This
> happens no matter 
> 		what you change on the dialog. If its doing it for some reason, then
> it should say that on the screen, something like "saving disabled
> because ....." 

The OK button is only enabled when all the options in all the pages
validate.  Internally there is enough information to give the user
"hints" as to what might be wrong, but that's not hooked up at this
time.  It sucks, yes.  The idea solution is to use some visual hints
(highlight the tab and entry with red or something?) and have tooltips
for each entry showing how to enter the data.

> 6) The dropdown menu with the connections listed, shows a "disconect"
> entry under any 3g connection, which does nothing, you have to click on 
> the actual connection menu entry to disconnect it. 

That shouldn't be the case; it seems to work for me here with stock
upstream NM from latest SVN.  Can you grab some logs
from /var/log/daemon.log from NM around the time you're trying to

> 7) Not related to 3G, there does not seem to be any way to "disconnect"
> a wifi connection, other than to connect another one., can we have the 
> ability to disconnect a wifi connection like we have with the gsm
> modems. 

Nope, there isn't a way to disconnect a wifi connection because if the
connection is 'autoconnect', NM is just going to re-connect that
connection, so having a disconnect would be pointless.  "Disconnect"
only really makes sense for connection types that are metered or
shouldn't be autoconnected.  Were there a 'disconnect' option, it's
entirely confusing how 'autoconnect' would interplay with that in users'

> 8) I know its against HID design guidelines, but can we have all the
> "action" buttons on the dialogue's moved to the top, network manager
> will be used a lot on net-books etc which have small screens (480->600
> pixels high), i quite often find i cant reach the buttons to action
> dialogs on my net-book ( note there is a trick you can use, turn on
> virtual desktops and arrange them in a 2x2 array) then drag your dialog
> until it is half way between the two, then you can use the up and down
> desktop move functions to reach the upper and lower halves of the
> dialog, but its a pain to have to do this all the time). 

If dialogs are larger than 750px tall, then we need to fix the
dialogs...  We'll be redoing the applet post 0.7 which will help a lot
of this out.

> 9) enhancement request... Most GSM modems have a network scanning mode
> on the huawei's  you open minicom on /dev/ttyUSB2 at 115200 baud, and
> issue. "AT+COPS=?", the modem will then rapid blink for a while and
> respond with a list of available networks, with network names and
> numbers. you can then issue AT+COPS=1,2,network_number to set the
> network. for example AT+COPS=1,2,23400 will select "3 UK". This is a
> life saver because the modems will often lock onto an alternative 
> network that does not do 3G (blink blue), in the uk orange is the fall
> back GPRS (blink green)

0.7 targetted the basic functionality of 3g connections, and future
releases will certainly add these sorts of things.  The highest priority
request has always been signal strength, which is something we'll add
for those modems which support it (many don't expose more than one
AT-compatible serial port and thus when PPP is running you cannot ask
for signal strength).


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