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Re: [Gnewsense-dev] Re: Selecting network-manager or wicd

From: Sam Geeraerts
Subject: Re: [Gnewsense-dev] Re: Selecting network-manager or wicd
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 2010 19:26:32 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090824)

Paul O'Malley - gnu's not unix - schreef:
Karl Goetz wrote:
It boils down to something like this:
network manager is integrated into lots of applications. does wicd work
with them? does it break them or 'just' not provide extra features? I'm
 /not/ qualified to make the call about nm/wicd. I've used neither
recently, and I don't experience the use cases that make the differences
I need feedback from a dozen people (5 would do, but a dozen
would be better. More is better.) saying how their daily work does or
does not improve using one over the other

I have had it work well with atheros hardware.

Works good on the Yeeloong here on a fresh install. I'll remind again that NetworkManager finds wifi on my old install, but not on my new install. And I'll add that NM on my old install is still the one from, where the one on the new install is our own (from lenny, not backports).

However the question I have is what is the discussion on the Debian mailing lists. Does it have the legs to keep going?

I searched a bit through Debian archives. User reports I found were in line with practically everything I've heard about Wicd in the past 2 years or so: almost exclusively positive reports. Side note: nearly all of those comments are made in the context of NetworkManager not working. The lacking of reports about the reverse (NM works when Wicd doesn't) is of course (at least in part) due to the fact that no distro ships Wicd by default (as far as I know).

The Launchpad project pages list 4 active members. Latest release was done on 2010-01-15. The last commit to trunk was 12 days ago, but there were 20 commits during January so I think development is still pretty active.

It appears to have 84 bugs on its current sourceforge page, some of which should have been closed with "Won't fix" imo.

275 for NetworkManager in GNOME Bugzilla. Not that this is a very good metric, because some serious triaging needs to be done there. NM also has more widespread use, so naturally gets more bugs reported.

 From that place two bugs interested me.
There is a suggestion there that it does not work in cli mode.

Does NM do that? I've only ever interfaced with NM through the applet. When I try 'ifconfig wlan0 down' (in GNOME) it's brought right back up again automatically by NM. When I log out of GNOME my wifi gets disconnected.

It is not great when the signal strength is low it fails rather than being low speed.

When my Yeeloong is shielded by my CRT screen next to it, both NM and Wicd tell me they are connected but I can't even get a ping packet through. I haven't experienced any differences in connectivity between them so far.

With respect to usability NM is better because it is better integrated into GNOME and has a cleaner UI, Wicd looks a bit less mature. One thing I really like about Wicd is that you have to connect to a wifi network explicitly.

All this and more needs to be taken into consideration before a commit is made. Remember the deltas I mentioned recently, well this would be one of them!

Wicd needs only one package from backports. NetworkManager from backports needs at least also libgtk, libglib and gtk2-engines-pixbuf. The maintenance delta is more than just the number of packages that differ, but it looks to me like the delta for Wicd really is less.

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