Re: Online Status Design

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
Can an httping get through a proxy?
With the captive portal you are not really on the internet until you  get redirected
to the portal and authenticate and after that your traffic usually goes through normally after.

2) Needless traffic for people in countries with costly access charges

3) Who would host this site that is checked?
Apparently Ubuntu.  Also, I am sure A LOT of people are relying on ping google, ping yahoo, ping
and if all fails where did the internet go.

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

You would have a list of multiple locations.
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 strongly disagree with this.  At one time I have done network support for people 
and I can not tell you how many people will say my wifi says its connected. Why no internet?

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  ;-)

I agree on this statement, at least the carrying weight part:)  I personally do not
see a use, but I can see how this would be helpful to non tech savvy users, if implemented properly.
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