open 80211s on XO 1.5

DancesWithCars danceswithcars at
Fri Oct 30 16:12:16 EDT 2009

I'd said to lots of people that the XO
uses 802.11s mesh networking
and eventually ran into someone rather
geekie and otherwise impressively knowledgeable
who corrected me that they didn't implement the
whole standard (and people here say draft).

The Marvel driver is said to be closed source,
and RMS didn't like that, all of course
rumor, and another rumor that the
driver was open sourced.

No rumors on the XO-1.5 yet, which
is a shame.  Even as hype and pre-release
getting a buzz going would be nice.
I don't have one, so can't test it to
find out. Computer are supposed
to be a Science, or so Knuth
is credited by the ACM for
helping to make that happen,
documenting the fundamental
algorithms and all...

There are other mesh networking
and someone once said to me that
the 802.11s isn't that special
that mesh OLR or somesuch
protocols have been around for
some time, but I'm guessing
the XO is one of the bigger
(~1 million XOs out there somewhere)
publicly known implementations
in that arena.

So if someone /
wants to set the record straight
and give definitive info, that would be

On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 3:50 PM, Ed McNierney <ed at> wrote:
> On Oct 30, 2009, at 3:32 PM, Sameer Verma wrote:
>>  scenarios of a handful of XOs in the under-a-tree model
> Sameer -
> Under a tree, using mesh networking is pointless (unless, I suppose,
> it is an extraordinarily large tree).  Mesh networking allows packet
> forwarding from node A to node B, where such nodes cannot normally
> communicate with one another directly.  Packets are forwarded through
> node C, visible to both A and B, or through multiple such intermediate
> nodes.  If A can communicate with B, mesh is neither helpful nor
> advisable.  It just confuses things, which is the problem we see with
> large numbers of children in a classroom.  The mesh efforts to keep
> track of how to get from A to B can quickly saturate the RF spectrum
> with a lot of unhelpful traffic.
> I can't tell what it is you're doing at your meetings when your users
> "all use mesh".  At a typical in-person meeting, you have a number of
> people using XOs all in the same room.  Any XO in the room can
> communicate over WiFi directly with every other machine in the room
> (except in extremely unusual circumstances, or too many attendees
> wearing their tinfoil hats).  There's no need for or value to mesh
> network - A doesn't need C to forward packets to B because A can see B
> directly as another ad hoc node.
> If there's an AP providing routing to the Internet or other external
> networks, there's no mesh required there, either, presuming that each
> XO can communicate with the AP directly.
> I can't answer your question about whether those scenarios use ad hoc
> networking because I don't quite see what it is the users are doing in
> those scenarios.  What (lowercase) activity are users engaged in when
> you say they "all use mesh"?  What do you think they would be unable
> to do if they all stopped using mesh?  Thanks for the info.
>        - Ed
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leave the wolves behind ;-)

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