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Re: proposal: anaconda networking UI change

 On 10/20/2010 05:24 AM, Radek Vykydal wrote:
 Hi list,

I've got some (very welcomed!) remarks and ideas on network
configuration UI in
Anaconda from James Laska, plus couple of tricky bugs, which made me
to suggest
 this change of networking UI.


 WARNING: The UI is still ugly, it has to be polished and reworded, its the
elements and flow, not the layout, what is important for me at this
point. The
 layout and functionality should be the same for network screen and for
 enablement dialog.

(Please ignore "activate on boot" checkbox behavior in the screenshot.
It is
 not implemented yet. Also the order of devices.)

This is probably the most often complaint I hear from users. I know the UI is
still needing some work, but keep in mind that we need to be able to handle
any number of NICs on this screen.  A list box with a treeview will most
likely be necessary because I do not see any other way to do it.

 Configuration + wifi:

This probably needs more work, but I question the value. There is a lot more
to wifi settings than just the access point.  Plus, if we expose the access
point list here, we will definitely be asked to expose many other settings.


Aside from the dialog box needing a lot of work, this looks like an

 Why (I imagine: isn't that too much of UI)?

 I don't think so, anyways what drove me this way were limitations of using
nm-c-e (which fits into desktop, combined with systray applet) in
 UI, and less the desire to offer enough options to user.

 * "active" checkbox:

It addresses bug https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=504983 -
once a
 device was up it couldn't be reconfigured, typical case is wrong static
configuration. Hence the "active" checkboxes that can be used to bring
 down and up with new configuration (this has to be handled out of nm-c-e).
Well, something is still missing: user is *not* offered enablement
dialog if
wrong static configuration is active (iscsi UI, network repos UI). To
fix this
 we could:

1) Add [Configure Network] button for invoking the dialog to relevant
 (advanced storage screen, repo UI screen).

2) Have a hotkey to invoke the dialog - I like this, but we must be
 with network storage devices.

3) If we had any step-persistent piece of UI (like systray in desktop)
we could
 have icon there.

It does sound like a crazy idea, but why not run a panel that can hold
nm-applet? Not necessarily gnome-panel, but something like fbpanel or another
small applet-holding program.

 * "activate on boot" checkbox:

It deals with bug https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=498207 -
is not activated automatically after reboot for media installs. I
added another
checkbox "activate on boot" for it. Although there is "Connect
checkbox in nm-c-e to achieve this by setting ONBOOT ifcfg value, we
can't use
it reasonably in installer (as opposed to desktop) because here ONBOOT
is used
to bring devices up/down (and checking the nm-c-e checkbox can bring
the device
up as a side effect). Also with the new "activate on boot" checkbox on
screen it is clear what our default is (currently it is quite unloved

'activate on boot' should mirror the ONBOOT setting for the device.  This is
what we used to do before we moved to NetworkManager.

 * moreover:

The whole option of network configuration is more noticeable on the

 Also it makes it easier to enable additional devices (for example another
 device for iscsi).

 I can post patches too. The +/- ratio is aprx 1.

 Other ideas going too far:
 - Add "Rescan access points" button.
 - Add "Check connection" button.

For users doing non-network installs, the complaint we hear a lot is that the network is not configured once they reboot. Another option might be to check
for an active link for non-network install methods and encourage users to
configure the network interface before completing installation (e.g., "I see
you have an active network link, would you like to configure it?").

David Cantrell <dcantrell redhat com>
Red Hat / Honolulu, HI

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