Talk:Wireless network configuration

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Revision as of 12:55, 11 August 2013 by Indigo (talk | contribs) (Management methods)
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iwlist wlan0 scanning syntax

In section "" is the shell command "iwlist wlan0 scanning" mentioned. "iwlist scan" will do in most cases, and is even without system dependent interface names. (Also, its at least 4 characters shorter, depending on system configuration, and in this respect more according to the arch way than the current version.) -- Scr (talk) 12:26, 5 April 2013‎ (UTC)

Similar to ip, all objects may be written in full or abbreviated form, as long as it's unambiguous. For example, following commands are equivalent: iwlist wlan0 scanning, iwlist wlan0 scan, iwlist wlan0 s. For good readability, I'd definitely not use the shortest s. As iwlist --help yields the full form scanning, I think it's better to keep it that way. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 19:00, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
+1 on keeping it like it is, yes. In my view the question is rather when it is time to eliminate iwlist and iwconfig alltogether and just keep iw for simplicity. I thought about that when I added the latter about a year back. I suspect there are still chips around which show ambigious results with nl, but I cannot recall having seen an example for that suspicion. Maybe someone knows how this could be tested. On the other hand there are wireless management methods which rely on wireless_tools. So for those alone the duplicity is worth keeping I reckon.--Indigo (talk) 11:03, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
There's a request for this: ArchWiki:Requests#wireless_tools_-.3E_iw. It would require updating many other pages, but Wireless Setup is really good starting point. For the time being, I suggest moving those commands to a troubleshooting section, which could be created. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 11:42, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, and iw is bound to end up in [base] sometime. I'm +1 to keep the commands like it is for now until the request is decided or the devs push iw. Otherwise the whole subsection about how to use the commands (wep, wpa, ...) has to have duplicate content in troubleshooting. Besides, wicd still has wireless_tools as dependency. --Indigo (talk) 14:13, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I've created a table of equivalent commands in Wireless Setup#Manual setup, I think it's better than having duplicates all over the section. If some package requires wireless_tools, so be it - but for the manual setup section, I think it's safe to remove the "wireless_tools commands" and keep only the table. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 00:10, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, sure is safe and works nice with the table to give reference for iwconfig. Great you added the missing iw ones too and congrats on all your work yesterday, they made the page so much better as a whole imo! Modifying the systemd example for a separate dhcpcd example will be very useful for many readers. I looked over the edits and will do so again soon at the page as a whole. --Indigo (talk) 09:24, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I guess it's solved now, closing. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 12:36, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Overall article readability (notes and split)

There is no doubt this article is very rich, but I find it a bit messy overall. At first sight, the newcomer may think managing wireless is a real odyssey, whereas it may be 2 simple steps for most users.

  • More than 50% of the article is dedicated to specific drivers installation. Perhaps it would be worth moving the whole section to a dedicated page, leaving only generic install guidelines here.
  • I've found 21 Note templates. Too much imho, it makes different sections and code lines harder to distinguish, and thus diminishes article's overall readability. Some of them definitely do not deserve a template, they should be written as is.

Still I won't say there is no doubt these 2 changes would make the article really better. So feel free to discuss!

-- Ambrevar (talk) 10:27, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Splitting the page was discussed in #Splitting the page. The number of Note templates (currently 18) is proportional to the length of the page. Closing. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 12:42, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Splitting the page

Regarding the note on top of the page, what about moving Wireless_Setup#Part_I:_Identify_Card.2FInstall_Driver to separate page, for example Wireless Setup/Hardware Support? That page would be focused on troubleshooting connection problems, installing drivers problems, and hardware support in general. Perhaps it would even make sense to merge some short dedicated pages into this one. What do you think? -- Lahwaacz (talk) 19:13, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

I generally agree the split would make sense. However, personally I often visit this page to give a referring link and am glad the two sections are on the same page. Both sections link out quite a lot already. Further, most readers will skip a lot of the hw section anyway because they are only interested in the chip to be configured and then have a browse at section 2. So, I'd rather keep it on one page. Merging uptodate dedicated hw pages into section 1 would make sense imho. Name them if you want. --Indigo (talk) 11:23, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
On second thought, I'd keep subsections like Wireless_Setup#Identify_and_Discover_if_Supported and Wireless_Setup#Install_user_space_tools in place (but make them top level, similarly to Network_Configuration#Device_Driver), but I'd move all subsections of Wireless_Setup#Drivers_and_firmware somewhere else - either separate page (e.g. Wireless Setup/Hardware Support) or new section at the end of this page (e.g. Wireless Setup#Troubleshooting). As you said - most readers will skip most of the hw section, I think the usual/ideal scenario should be readable continuously. As to the links - they can/should be fixed, this should not stop us from updating the page. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 12:10, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Good idea of moving down the driver specifics to Wireless Setup#Troubleshooting. Definetely more readable like this. --Indigo (talk) 14:27, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Please let me know how you like the Wireless_Setup#Device_driver section and referencing to Wireless_Setup#Troubleshooting_drivers_and_firmware. I tried not to loose any information, however, general method of installing a firmware was never described. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 15:11, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
The split works well in my view (see comment in above disc). What I am still unsure about is removing the para at the beginning referring to the beginnersguide. I found the summary of relevant packages right at the beginning useful and they are not summarized like this in the BG. The [Wireless_Setup#Device_driver] section at the beginning of the page should get a bit more verbose now, yes. --Indigo (talk) 10:05, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I removed it because it duplicated part of Wireless Setup#Manual setup, which needed updating. And information about connecting from fresh install should be given in BG - I think it's described well, but it somehow assumes that iw is already installed. ArchWiki:Requests#wireless_tools_-.3E_iw says that " iw isn't on the install media yet" - do you know anything about it? But you're right, Wireless_Setup#Troubleshooting_drivers_and_firmware assumes that userspace tools are installed. I'll add link to Wireless Setup#Manual setup into Wireless Setup#Device driver, that should do it. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 10:30, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
iw is in the iso, yes; just not in base. The format you chose for wep is partly wrong for iw. I'll correct it; though I cant test the ascii bit. I also take out the last line in the table, there are many wifi handling problems arising from it. No need to provoke those when all people want is connect manually. --Indigo (talk) 13:11, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't get it - this way it's the same for both hex and ascii keys... Are you sure? -- Lahwaacz (talk) 13:29, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
This makes sense, thanks for the correction. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 13:36, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I guess it's solved now, closing. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 12:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Management methods

I'd say Wireless_Setup#Management_methods is quite useless in current state. The basic info has been moved into the introduction in Wireless_Setup#Wireless_management. The first table says absolutely nothing, there's nothing to compare. The second table could be (expanded and) moved to Wireless_Setup#Automatic_setup, but I think it's better to describe the software in sentences. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 13:00, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

The first table denotes the first mention of the packages (wpa_supplicant et al) now. They were linked in the summary but that para was rm'ed. I still think they should be pointed at on that page, early too. The second sould be moved down and could need an overhaul, yes. The column like "autoconnect on boot" is pretty useless for starters.--Indigo (talk) 21:20, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Is your point that there's no Install userspace tools section at the beginning? I think the userspace tools are only needed in Wireless Setup#Manual setup (and Wireless Setup#Troubleshooting of course, but Wireless Setup#Device driver mentions it). People who read Wireless Setup#Device driver and then skip to Wireless Setup#Automatic setup do not have to install them explicitly, they are installed as dependencies to network managers (note that netctl does not require iw nor wireless_tools). I'm not against adding such section, but I don't see any content which would fit there. If you have an idea, feel free to discuss/edit the page. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 22:44, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree with the managers dependency bit and don't want to create a new subsection on userspace either. But I was giving you a reason why the first table is not useless, since the tools are used right in the next section (which is manual setup). I can edit it a bit later. --Indigo (talk) 18:01, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Done some editing. I would leave the first table in, but it is true that Wireless Setup#Manual setup mentions packages now too. Contextually it works better like this then rm'ing the table imo though. I added manual connection to the second table to see how it works out. If the second table gets moved down to the tools, that line should go again of course. Thoughts? --Indigo (talk) 10:28, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't like the first table listing multiple tools in one cell with no apparent reason (ip even twice), so I suggest reorganizing the table like this:
Management method
Interface activation Wireless connection management Assigning IP address
Manually managed,
with no or WEP encryption
ip iw / iwconfig ip / dhcpcd / dhclient
Manually managed,
with WPA or WPA2 PSK encryption
ip iw / iwconfig + wpa_supplicant ip / dhcpcd / dhclient
Automatically managed,
with network profiles support
netctl, Wicd, NetworkManager, etc.
The second table should compare tools for the automatic method, I wouldn't list manual there. I'm not even sure if wvdial should be listed there, you could add pppd for the same reason.
As for moving the tables, I'd merge the first table into the introduction of Wireless Setup#Wireless management (effectively just removing the section heading) and move the second table into Wireless Setup#Automatic setup.
-- Lahwaacz (talk) 11:21, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
As I look at the table now, it seems highly inaccurate - netctl, wicd and NetworkManager use wpa_supplicant and dhcpcd internally (wicd even uses net-tools and wireless_tools), you just don't have to manage them directly. Perhaps that should be mentioned. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 11:38, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I added that, thanks. Networkmanager uses dhclient btw. And your version is much better, yes. Just changing it slightly
Management method Interface activation Wireless connection management
Assigning IP address
Manually managed,
with no or WEP encryption
ip iw / iwconfig ip / dhcpcd / dhclient
Manually managed,
with WPA or WPA2 PSK encryption
ip iw / iwconfig + wpa_supplicant ip / dhcpcd / dhclient
Automatically managed,
with network profiles support
netctl, Wicd, NetworkManager, etc.

These tools pull in the required dependencies from the list of packages in the manual method.

Replace it, if you are ok with it. I'm fine with your other suggestions too. The reason I added wvdial was to make clear networkmanager is not the only alternative for 3G. --Indigo (talk) 12:34, 11 August 2013 (UTC)