Re: Online Status Design

On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 1:03 PM, Martin Owens <doctormo gmail com> wrote:
> Hello NetworkManager List,
> At the Ubuntu Developers Summit in Texas, we had a sit down and talk
> about the design and presentation of a status that would indicate to the
> user if they are actually online (rather than simply connected to a
> network)
> You can read more on the blueprint here, with wiki page linked from
> there:
> The sessions turned out to be very design driven, with no technical
> representation, no nm programmers. Which was a shame.
> As a result I've been charged with scoping out the technical feasibility
> in NetworkManager of the first set of objectives to basically do simple
> http requests and provide a set of variables via dbus indicating the
> result from this kind of test.
> If we can not get more support from the people programming
> NetworkManager, then the feature may not be possible to build. Even if
> it was proven that it would help the relevancy of the network status
> given to the user.
> Let me know your thoughts, especially if you think the features
> discussed are not technically possible.
> Thanks.
> Best Regards, Martin Owens
> _____

There are a number of challenges here and it has been discussed in the
past on this list which might help provide some more details.  At a
high level:
1) Sites that require a proxy or sites that use captive portals will
give inaccurate results
2) Needless traffic for people in countries with costly access charges
3) Who would host this site that is checked?
4) Do we want to rely on an internet hosted site to determine our
network status?   What happens when the site goes down or is otherwise
5) For most "Home" users if they have a link they are "Online" for all
intents and purposes.   It might be better to have a troubleshooter
option that they can run if they can't connect that checks what type
of link (PPPOE, Wireless etc..) that gives them instructions on how to
connect and can ping internet sites to determine connectivity and
suggest options etc...   This way it is more of a troubleshooting tool
and the items above don't matter.

I personally don't see this as being very valuable and causing
potential confusion but I am not a developer so my opinion doesn't
carry much weight  ;-)

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