wlan interface (was: first play with new XO 1.5 machines)

Albert Cahalan acahalan at gmail.com
Fri Oct 23 06:37:49 EDT 2009

Daniel Drake writes:

> Another laptop "C" comes along
> A <--------> C <----------> B
> This laptop can see both of these independent laptops (each having
> its independent network). It can join one or the other. It cannot
> join both. Hence this XO can only communicate with A or B, but not
> both (even though the range is OK), and presenting this choice in
> the UI would be nasty.

This is the result of Linux kernel stupidity. It is thus fixable,
at least with soft-mac firmware.

We're treating wireless network hardware like wired network hardware,
but it's really not the same thing. Ignoring VLAN issues and such,
a wired network goes to one other place. A wireless network can go
many places at once.

Right now, you get one device named something like wlan0. You modify
parameters to move this one device about. The proper model is that
you instantiate a new instance of the device. A single wlan0 device
for the hardware is no good. The wlan0 device could...

a. exist only as an icky compatibility hack
b. not exist
c. be one of many instantiations of the hardware
d. be only used for raw 802.11-layer packet injection and sniffing
e. be only used for instantiating wireless lan devices

Thus, properly done, the XO labled "C" might have either of:

a. wlan0 to reach A, and wlan1 to reach B (same hardware)
b. wlan0, from which wlan0_0 and wlan0_1 are instantiated

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