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Re: UNIX and ease of use

Avery writes:
> Adam P. Harris wrote:
> >WvDial is very clever, but it and most of its competitors bypass the
> >standard configuration files.  This locks the user into their system and
> >pretty much rules out manual editing if the 'EZ' system fails.

Actually, I wrote that.

> I do not like the phrase "locks the user into their system" -- it is
> inaccurate.  Obviously, if you want to use wvdial, you have to use
> wvdial.  Beyond that, there is no "locking" being done.

Perhaps "locks the user into their system" is a little strong.  What I mean
is this: User uses wvdial to "get onto the net", and, having done so,
believes that ppp is all set up.  When she decides to try ezppp, or pon, or
some other dialer, she finds that he has to configure it all over again.

> pppd was designed wrong.

I agree.

> Why does my PPP protocol manager have to understand how to dial a
> modem,...

pppd knows nothing about dialing.

> redial on disconnect,...

It knows to try to bring a failed connection back up; what's wrong with

> ...dial on demand?

Bring up a connection when there is a packet going that way?  Seems like
the right thing to do to me.

> The PPP protocol manager should be run from the program that does the
> modem initialization and dialing, not the other way around.

I would rather see it act like a real daemon. It would read a config file
at startup, create the designated ppp devices, monitor them for traffic,
and bring connections up and down as required. That's not going to happen,
though, so I'm trying to live with the standard (the Debian one, not the
Slackware one with all it's wacky scripts).

> Dialing is dialing...

Dialing is sending commands to one kind of link control hardware.

> ...it should be handled by a separate program.

It is.  It is handled by whatever gets called by the connect option.
Doesn't have to be chat.  Could be wvdial.

> What's wrong with diald for demand-dialing, anyway?

It looks like an ugly kludge, but I've never tried it.

> You can't properly detect a modem using a shell script.

I'm not convinced of that, but in any case everything need not be a shell

> P.S. can pppconfig handle ISP's who require you to type "ppp" at the
> first prompt, and then your username and password later?

Yes, though the explanatory text does not make it obvious how.  I will fix
that, if there is enough need to justify it.

It is my impression that bizarre chat authentication procedures are dying
out and being replaced by PAP, CHAP, and sometimes MSCHAP.  Modems are, as
you note, already standardized.
John Hasler
john@dhh.gt.org (John Hasler)
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI

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