[arch-dev-public] New wireless and network scripts.

Thomas Bächler thomas at archlinux.org
Mon Apr 2 05:11:25 EDT 2007

James schrieb:
> one-to-many, multi support is included.

I'll have a closer look then :)

> I designed these so they were clear and easy to work with.
> Documentation needs a bit of work, but making changes anywhere is very
> simple. And more approachable than C. Not sure how it's 'unsafe'

I'll also have a closer look at that. By 'unsafe' I meant the scope
gotchas you mention below, as well as error handling: if you do
something wrong, there will be no "parse error" message, but just weird
things happening. And - of course - if a third party has rights to
change config files, they could exploit that easily.

> The bash is fairly simple and readable too though.

Sometimes it is, but network configuration can become rather complex.

> Is there such a demand though? Arch has always tended away from GUI
> tools. I'd rather not switch to a C implementation, just so we can
> make writing GUI's easier.

There is a demand. People want to configure their wireless when they
change their location, they want to configure their network when they
plug a cable in and so on.
Arch is design to not depend on GUI tools, but having them does not hurt.

With a bash netcfg, we need to invoke it and parse the output everytime
we change something, or simply reimplement its functionality. That is
not good for a GUI.

> And that's the state of many Arch projects. Arch has needed these
> scripts for *ages* and nobody else has had any interest. There is a
> need though, every day, there's still multiple new threads on the
> forums with wireless and other networking problems. And simply, the
> current scripts do not cater nicely towards > 1 network per interface.
> You can write C based scripts, but unless you knuckle down and work on
> them, I doubt we'll see them before the end of the year. If they do
> appear, they won't have reached the stage of the bash scripts before
> us.
> This is the problem we have, ideas are raised, but we don't have
> enough implementers.

You are absolutely right about that. It is great that you spent so much
time on the scripts and I hope they work great. As I said, I added this
item for general discussion and my efforts are only experimental.

>> I think getting too complex with configuration tools is not the best
>> idea.  I do, however agree that the profile-to-interface mapping
>> should be a one-to-many mapping.
> one-to-many available in these.

That is great. IMO, the disadvantage here is that we need several
configuration files for them (that is the approach I made when I hacked
with your original scripts, but got lost in bash scope stuff). Do you
know a cool bash-parsable configuration file layout where we could put
them into one file?

>> Also, if bash is unsafe, we need to rewrite rc.conf, makepkg, and
>> probably a hundred other utilities.  Dan and I might be willing to
>> accept patches for a binary makepkg, so feel free.
> Aye, so many of arch's scripts are written in bash. These network
> scripts as they're implemented, are simpler and tidier than many other
> things i've seen come out of Arch...

I wanted to try something different to be able to put more configuration
into one file and still stay readable.
If you say that the network scripts are nicely implemented, then I
believe you and will indeed look at them more carefully tonight (I was
just too tired yesterday, so I added my thoughts and didn't read the
latest version of the scripts).

> However..... we could make a compromise, a halfway.
> If we could design a better config file, and then write a C(++) based
> program to parse this file and spit out requested variables, then we
> could have a tidier and better implementation in many aspects. We
> could keep the simplicity of the bash scripts, and allow the extra
> power of a better config file.

That would be worth looking into.

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