Tag Archives: Fred Chien

Recent Development Status of LXNM

LXNM (Lightweight Network Manager) is working now after a long time for development. If you often check the news of SVN, you can notice that the next generation of LXNM has already supported wireless connection setting, also it has many feature as old version of LXNM. The new implementation and protocol defination seems to work well at least there is no bug of old version of LXDE had that no Access Point was scanned always.

Here is some screenshots to show you current LXNM wireless support:

As a network manager, wireless is the basic feature, but only the feature is not enough for new internet devices. To be a full function network connection utility, it must provide most popular methods of internet connection service something’s like 3G(HSPDA), PPPoE, dial…etc. And also we can expect WiMAX will be coming soon, so supporting WiMAX maybe important and necessary in the feature as well.

So far most network connections methods need to use PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) to make connection, so we must try to focus on how’s PPP working and how to integrate PPP stuffs with our program. Fortunately, Most of operating system was using pppd to handle the ppp connections, it seems to be a standard we can consider. If we know how to get pppd immediate status, it will be easy to integrate PPP with our utility for us.

Regarding pppd implementation, it uses a tdb(samba database) to store current connection information(IP, interface, deivce, gateway, dns…etc) in system folder as root. Thus we need to read the file to get network status and the relationship between modem(eg, 3G modem, general modem) and network interface(eg, ppp0, ppp1…). Because of pppd is a user-space implementation as well as it doesn’t have library to provide serial APIs to let us be easy to operate its own stuffs, LXNM must direct open the tdb file. The problem is that pppd will update the tdb file anytime, it is possible that database be modified when LXNM is just reading the file. When it is happened, LXNM will get incorrect information or access failed to cause crazy crash. For solving this bug, we do some to check more information details which is from tdb. After some hard works, right now the issue was solved already.

Besides, the 3G support which is most important feature people concern. LXNM will try to use AT command to control 3G (HSDPA) modem to implement the connection handler, it can provide more information(ISP, Service Location, current area…etc) for your SIM Card with AT command. Some developers suggest us to research the implementation of Modem Manager Project for helping development.

Now we are working on this part which is that dialing with 3G modem, but there were also some weird problems we got. More details about those issues will be explained at blog next time. :-)

LXNM current status and the plan in the future

Next generation of LXNM (Lightweight Network Manager) is still under development right now, You guys can see the prototype which was implemented in SVN already. In the future, LXNM will provide some programs includes lxnm daemon, utility which is a command line program to make control of all kind of networking devices be unified into only one utility, a LXPanel plugin and a standalone applet for running without LXPanel.

So the project will has three parts to be maintained:
1. lxnm (LXNM Daemon and command line utility – lxnetctl)
2. lxpanel-netstat (LXPanel plugin)
3. lxnm-applet (standalone applet)

For the current version in SVN, lxnm can be working now, we can using lxnetctl utility to connect to lxnm daemon to control our networking devices and get informations include ethernet and wireless interface.

BTW, I am now working on lxnm-applet to implement a graphical LXNM client to display and control network devices.

Besides, in the future, LXNM will provide a library to make easy to write a new LXNM client(eg, lxnm-applet) for developer.

LXDE featured in prestigious magazine 新新聞 The Journalist

Shen Wanyu from the prestigious magazine ¨新新聞 The Journalist¨ in Taiwan interviewed us some time ago. Result was a six page article ( PDF-Download, 5,9 MB ) about business opportunities for companies with free and open source software.

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More information on the amazing global media coverage of LXDE in the Media Section of our wiki.


LXDE presentation at ICOS 2008 in Ilan, Taiwan

Fred Chien, core developer of LXDE, and me had a presentation of LXDE at ICOS 2008 in Ilan Taiwan.

今年的會議議程,將從『政府』、『教育』、『商業』、『社群』及『非營利組織』等五 大族群,邀請政府官員、民意代表、企業代表、學術研究人士,社群計畫發展人員、 非營利組織應用發展代表等,共同參與各項發表會、座談會。希望藉由這個研討會 的舉辦,提供一個網路之外的交流機會,透過各方英雄好漢的分享經驗及心得交 換,也期望能為未來相關領域的發展及合作提供一些助力。 本研討會之議程委員皆在自由軟體相關單位、產業界、學術界或相關社群享有 盛名,具有高度成就。本大會將著重於:

  1. 「自由軟體/開放源碼」與政府相關政策;
  2. 「自由軟體/開放源碼」與教育的關係;
  3. 「自由軟體/開放源碼」於國際社會發展脈動及合作;
  4. 「自由軟體/開放源碼」之商業應用模式;
  5. 「自由軟體/開放源碼」之非營利組織應用模式;
  6. 「自由軟體/開放源碼」社群的現況及發展。

本次會議預計將會吸引來自各地的學者、專家、研究生及相關社群人士與會。 希望能提昇國內產官學研等單位人士對自由軟體、自由軟體社群、自由軟體共同開 發平台之瞭解。並建立自由軟體有助於增進數位學習、縮減數位落差之形象。建立 產官學社群交流之機制並提昇各界對國家自由軟體政策推動之認識。(Aug, 30, 2008, http://www.slat.org/icos2008/)