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Re: Back to technical discussion? Yes! (was: network-manager as default? No!)

On 04/04/2011 10:31 AM, Stanislav Maslovski wrote:
> I do not think that reading documentation before trying to achieve
> something is that elitist. And in the case of wpa_supplicant, it is
> definitely not dozens of pages. Basically, it is just
> man interfaces
> man wpa_supplicant.conf
> zless /usr/share/doc/wpasupplicant/README.Debian.gz

Without "expert" help, no new user will find these. A Debian Squeeze
laptop user will have a broken network by default, and nothing obvious
pointing them to the answer. Just a mute (if pretty) desktop, blankly
defying them to get the network to work!

> The wireless networks in public locations are usually open and do not
> require any specific configuration; the most of them are catched with
> a simple roaming setup outlined in that README from above, supplanted
> with a default /e/n/interfaces stanza for DHCP-based networks. If one
> instead prefers using a GUI, then there is wpa_gui with which one may
> scan for networks, select the needed one, change parameters, etc.

I have done user support with countless new users on irc, first on
#debian-eeepc and recently, also on #debian. It is the very rare
(bearded guru? good one :) new Debian user that will have a happy time
jumping through the hoops to make wpa_supplicant work for them. And even
once they manage to make it work, I've *still* seen cafe connections
fail on my lovingly hand-crafted wpa_cli + wpa_supplicant setup that
succeed when I reboot to a Squeeze GNOME live image with NM. I to this
day have not been able to figure out why.

> I also use wireless at home and at the sites where I work. For these
> locations I have several fixed stanzas in /e/n/interfaces and in
> wpa_supplicant.conf that I do not need to touch at all.

That's good for you, clearly. Nobody's trying to argue that your
solution isn't a perfectly fine one for you, and others with similar
needs. But the average laptop user really does have a hard time with the
status quo. Something needs to change in the next release.


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