[Mageia-dev] Drakxnet, drakroam and Draknetcenter : let's fix it or throw it.

Buchan Milne bgmilne at staff.telkomsa.net
Tue Aug 2 17:42:25 CEST 2011

On Tuesday, 2 August 2011 10:56:55 Thomas Lottmann wrote:
> You are right in several points, but... :-)
> Le 01/08/2011 15:59, Thierry Vignaud a écrit :
> > On 1 August 2011 15:29, Thomas Lottmann<skipercooker at gmail.com>  wrote:
> >> The other main issue I see si that Drakxnet is coded in Perl and uses a
> >> lot of perl scripts, like the drakxtools. This makes it hard to
> >> maintain, and to improve.
> > 
> > That's just your own POV.
> > Not the POV of maintainers.
> Are there other maintainers for this tool than it's creators or
> long-time maintainers? This is not only my POV, but also what I have
> heard from a variety of people since the time I participate a little.
> Anyway...
> >> I know it works fine for several people. Personally, I am often having
> >> issues because it's disconnects on it's own,
> > 
> > This has nothing to do with drakconnect that don't handle that.
> > If the network disconnected, that's the issue between the routers,
> > the network, the kernel, ....
> > and no longer sees any networks when it should.
> > which points to either network issue or kernel driver issue, not
> > drakconnect.
> Other people not using Mageia do not get as often disconnected as me
> when using public hotspots.

Sure, this should be investigated, however it could be due to things besides 
the network GUI tools etc. For example, if using wpa_supplicant, once you have 
selected a wireless network, the Mandriva tools do virtually nothing.

BTW., I notice (from wpa_gui, *not* net_applet, and even without net_applet 
running) that my machine re-associates to our WPA2-Enterprise network more 
frequently than other operating systems.

> Mageia wireless tools seem to have more
> difficulty to connect and keep the connections to hotspots that have a
> low (not bad, low) quality signal, while Windows keeps connected, or,
> quickly reconnects automatically.

These symptoms don't appear to be related to which GUI tool configures 
wpa_supplicant, but rather points to wpa_supplicant or driver/firmware 

> Meanwhile, I have to reconnect manually and, more frustrating, it seems
> the wireless utility sometime attempts to reconnect automatically, but I
> can't clearly know.
> The other bizarre thing I often see is when the hotspots he sees fall
> from 35 to 0 (or 1, the hotspot he's tryign to connect). This is not
> normal, I have not observed this NM, Windows or Mac OS X tools.
> >> Then it has difficulty  reconnecting.
> > 
> > Same, reconnecting is the job of dhcp-client, ifplugd and the like.
> > Not drakconnect's job.
> I can't tell. I can only observe and I do not invent what I describe
> (and have already described in the past). :-)

You could investigate by connecting manaully (iwconfig, wpa_cli, wpa_gui etc.) 
and report whether doing so solves your problems. If not, you are blaming the 
wrong thing.

> >> Windows, Fedora and Ubuntu's wireless tools work absolutely smoothly at
> >> my school. And now, other people testing Mageia as school are having
> >> the same issues I have. This is frustrating and I can assure you these
> >> home-made network tools have to be improved and fixed.
> > 
> > Well, Fedora tool (really NM) has its own bugs.
> True.
> > And I'm pretty sure people who've used MS, Apple or whatever OS/tool
> > they're used to, have also encountered issues
> True. But these issues are less evident to find apparently, and do not
> affect that much user experience.
> When a user wants to connect to a wireless hotspot, he should just click
> connect, enter his IDs and it should work fluently.

This works for me (except I don't want my Single-Sign-On password in a clear-
text configuration file, but it seems no distro has fixed all the issues with 
this yet).

> If it is often the
> case with Mageia tools with a personal hotspot and when you're next to
> it, it is not always the case when you use it everyday, and, sadly,
> other tools do better and have a more stable and smooth wireless
> connectivity, even if they also encournter issues. Their issues are not
> that much affecting user experience like the ones I have described.
> >> If you want to, I can attempt to make a list of the isses and
> >> incoherencies I find, although they are not hard to see.
> > 
> > Indeed, please just fill in _several_ bugs (one report per issue)
> > against drakx-net
> I will do one report for each issue I find in drakxnet, with as much
> details as possible, yes. I shall also do a video capture of the issue
> if it can help.

I would rather spend the time testing whether the behaviour is the same 
without e.g. net_applet. Videos showing nothing that can help find the problem 
is just a waste of time.

> this will take me a lot of time, but I will do it.
> >> But as I mentionned earlier, this
> >> is a tool that is hard to maintain, and I cannot learn perl right now.

Who says your issues are in this tool?

> > 
> > That's just _your_ personnal though, not his maintainer's.
> > aka "this is a tool that is hard to maintain" really means "you would not
> > be able to maintain it"
> Right.
> >> If NetworkManager is easier to maintain and works fine, then I think it
> >> can be a better solution. Just offering or trying to find solutions,
> >> because this tool seriously does not work properly here.
> > 
> > it has its own flaws too...
> Yes, but it does not confuses itself with it's own configuration files.

Hmm, you mean wpa_supplicant.conf? That's not net_applet's own configuration 
file ... but configuring wpa_supplicant via dbus or the unix socket may be 

> Clearly, all programs can have flaws, but sincerely, it is not working
> well in Mageia and is not pleasant to use. Otherwise I would not report
> again about it. ;-)

But, please investigate *what* pieces of Mageia are at fault, it seems you 
have assumed that anything to do with any network issue at all, regardless of 
whether it is the AP, the device, the firmware, driver, kernel, supplicant, or 
GUI, is due to the net_applet and associated tools.


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