open 80211s on XO 1.5

DancesWithCars danceswithcars at
Fri Oct 30 16:34:13 EDT 2009

Thank you. And yes I'm conflicted.

Your summary and experience
give a good overview
and I'll point people to the if they need more

Re: the XO 1.5 mesh implementation,
compatibility with other XO 1.0 and
an open source driver would be nice.
Not that I plan on hacking it,
as I'm not nearly that good,
just sometimes around people
who are rather good,
and don't want to pass along
bad info, if I can help it.

On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 4:23 PM, Ed McNierney <ed at> wrote:
> I can't quite understand the desire for "definitive info" combined with your
> disappointment that you don't have 1.5 "rumors".  I don't think we need
> rumors, and I and many other folks have been providing "definitive info"
> about 1.5 for some time.  And about the mesh, etc.  You don't say what topic
> it is on which you want the record set straight - if you need info, just
> ask.
>        - Ed
> P.S. The 802.11s draft standard has certainly been implemented on other
> devices; no one suggests it is unique to the XO-1.  What is "special" about
> the XO-1, AFAIK, is its ability to continue to operate as a mesh node (or
> MPP, mesh portal point) and forward packets while the laptop is otherwise
> shut down.  The fundamental limitations on the utility of 802.11s in typical
> XO-1 scenarios, however, limit the value of this unique (I think) laptop
> feature.
> On Oct 30, 2009, at 4:12 PM, DancesWithCars wrote:
>> 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
>> great...
>> 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
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Devel mailing list
>>> Devel at
>> --
>> DancesWithCars
>> leave the wolves behind ;-)

leave the wolves behind ;-)

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