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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Plasma NM: big feature (bigger than I have thought)

When I got the idea to implement system connections I thought in just fixing a bug, but since NetworkManager is changing its API and ABI during the 0.8 to 0.9 transition the challenge has increased.

The main change from 0.8 to 0.9 specification is that now all connections are system wide with new DBus interfaces for the clients (Plasma NM for instance) to provide secrets (user name, password, encrpyt keys) to NetworkManager. Most of the changes are there to shrink NM's clients (Plasma NM, nm-applet, cnetworkmanager) source code, so it seems to be good change. We will need to change Solid's NM backend to meet the new specificaton, which can be problematic for distributions because they will only be available in KDE SC 4.7, scheduled to be released in late July.

Talking about distributions, one Fedora guy showed up in kde-networkmanagement mailinglist. NM-0.9 is going to be released next week and Fedora guys are thinking in using NM-0.9 in F15, preferably with a working Plasma NM. To do so would require changes in KDE SC 4.6x API used in F15, something that KDE tries really hard to avoid.

One good news is that a guy from Pardus Linux (Gökçen Eraslan) have been working in implementing system connections since last year, I just forgot about that hehe, sorry. So we already have a working implementation but Gökçen Eraslan still have not answered my e-mail about his implemenation. If it is working good with no side-effects we can add it to networkmanagement master repository and starting from there to meet NM 0.9 specification from Plasma NM's point of view. The Solid's NM backend part will need more discussing about how to proceed.


Christoph said...

I think there is a misunderstanding here: Fedora 15 is not released next week but on May 17th. NetworkManager 0.9 is scheduled to hit the Fedora 15 development next week, but the decision has not yet been made.

Lamarque said...

Ok, I have changed that part of my pots. Thanks for clarifying it.

Kevin Kofler said...

But do you think this stuff will be doable in 2½ weeks, when the change deadline for Fedora 15 Beta hits?

And the Final change deadline is already on May 2, not May 17 (which is when the release goes out to the mirrors). But the time between Beta and Final is supposed to be used to fix critical showstoppers only. Now networking not working at all on the KDE spin would indeed be a critical showstopper, but shouldn't we prevent that from getting into the Beta in the first place? ;-)

As a Fedora KDE maintainer, I think the plan to rush NM 0.9 into Fedora 15 is insane, and really hope we can block it.

Anonymous said...

Could it be that there is a misunderstanding about the Pardus work?

It could be that Pardus changed in the last months but my state of knowledge from a half or so year ago is that Pardus uses Network-Manager not NetworkManager. Pardus' N-M is completely separate tool that predates NM.

Lamarque said...

@Kevin Kofler, if I get some help it can be done in 2 1/2 weeks. I have never touched that part of the source code before, I am still learning how it works and what is needed to implement system connections, so it is difficult to predict how much time it will take to have an implementation for public use. The patch from Pardus is a great advance, but it does not cover NM-0.9 and I heard VPN connections do not work with it.

I do not use Fedora, I cannot help with the Fedora's decision to include NM-0.9 without KDE support. The changes in Solid to support NM-0.9 are going to be available only in KDE SC 4.7 (late July), that is another good reason to postpone NM-0.9 in F15's KDE spin.

@kamikazow, I have never used Pardus. I do not know how things works in Pardus and it they use other NetworkManager implementation.