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NetworkManager Drops WiMAX Support

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  • NetworkManager Drops WiMAX Support

    Phoronix: NetworkManager Drops WiMAX Support

    With WiMAX not being too popular and other competing wireless standards taking over, NetworkManager is discontinuing its support for this technology...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...er-Drops-WiMAX

  • #2
    Big, big big mistake.

    Taiwan uses WiMax heavily. That's an entire country they are dropping support for. I hope this gets reviewed thoroughly before being pushed through.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
      Big, big big mistake.

      Taiwan uses WiMax heavily. That's an entire country they are dropping support for. I hope this gets reviewed thoroughly before being pushed through.
      Out of curiosity, what operating system do the WiMax users run? Debian never supported it, Fedora doesn't support it for some time now either.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by lkundrak View Post
        Out of curiosity, what operating system do the WiMax users run? Debian never supported it, Fedora doesn't support it for some time now either.
        What do you think?

        Point is, if NetworkManager is going to drop WiMax support, that's an entire country of users desktop Linux can count on to NOT get adopted in any way.

        Disclaimer: my knowledge of WiMAX usage in Taiwan is a bit dated; last visit was in 2011, and my co-workers (myself included) were all hooked up to WiMAX dongles. I have no idea if Taiwan is slowly wearing itself off WiMAX or not.
        Last edited by Sonadow; 17 April 2015, 01:36 PM.

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        • #5
          NetworkManager only ever supported the Intel WiMAX hardware, which was in only a few cards: 5150, 5350, 6150, and 6250, and a few standalone half-size PCIe minicards. These cards have not been manufactured since 2012 or 2013. Last Windows driver/utility updates were two years ago. Intel did not make WiMAX USB dongles.

          No other popular WiMAX chipset drivers have been accepted into the Linux kernel, meaning there are no reliable, free, or maintained WiMAX drivers by definition. Binary-only or vendor drivers exist (Beceem, GCT, Sequans) but they are not upstream, have no central point of development, and are not included in most Linux distributions. The Beceem WiMAX driver was removed from the kernel's 'staging' tree last last year. http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTg2NDA

          The Intel WiMAX daemon (wimaxd) which NetworkManager talked to was dropped by Intel in 2011 and never maintained after that, and wasn't picked up by distributions.

          Major global operators like Yota (Russia) and CLEAR (USA) have been switching to LTE and shutting down their WiMAX networks. KDDI (Japan) is apparently EOL-ing their original WiMAX network, and moving to WiMAX2 which is unsupported by the Intel hardware. I expect others to either move to WiMAX2 or LTE as well over the next couple years.

          NetworkManager's WiMAX support will still be maintained for the 1.0 and 0.9.10 stable branches. It has only been dropped from the upcoming 1.2 and later releases.

          We're happy to re-evaluate WiMAX if support for devices shows up in the Linux kernel (not staging) and if a viable WiMAX userspace happens.

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          • #6
            Feature deletion has been a big problem in Linux lately

            Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
            What do you think?

            Point is, if NetworkManager is going to drop WiMax support, that's an entire country of users desktop Linux can count on to NOT get adopted in any way.

            Disclaimer: my knowledge of WiMAX usage in Taiwan is a bit dated; last visit was in 2011, and my co-workers (myself included) were all hooked up to WiMAX dongles. I have no idea if Taiwan is slowly wearing itself off WiMAX or not.
            If WiMAX is commonly used in Tiawan and distros are not supporting it, that means rather than switching to Windoze Taiwanese hackers will have to fork an older version of NetworkManager. I would suggest as a starting point the last version that was known to work. Alternately, someone somewhere could write a dedicated WiMAX utility for use in such places. Failing that, anyone using WiMAX whose system now works should pin NetworkManager to block any updates that will break their ability to use it.

            If there were no WiMAX connections available anywhere, in any country, that would be another matter but it sounds like that is not a case. If it is used in one country only a separate, dedicated utility might be in order. Hell, Ubuntu installs libraries to support for languages like Thai that are used by one country. If we can support a human language used in one country, why not a wireless standard used in one country.

            I don't think dropping support for things that are in serious use anywhere is a good idea. This should only be done if there is nobody able to mantain the support and no way to simply keep the last known good version in the available code. In such cases a call for a maintainer should go out before the code is dropped, and I would advise commenting it out, not deleting it for the benefit of third party hackers seeking to bring it back. Keep in mind that comments in C code don't increase the side of the resulting binaries. I It's one thing to delete features from something you use yourself and distribute either as a favor or not at all, quite another to pull it out of code used by the biggest Linux distros.

            Is dropping Wimax another one of Red Hat's ideas? That's how we got GNOME 3 and all those deprecations and feature removals in GNOME and even in GTK. That's why GNOME 2 had to be forked as MATE and GNOME 3 as Cinnamon. Somebody claimed that GNOME 3's release cooincided with a halt to the growth of Linux usage on the desktop, I have no idea if that is true or not but if it is it means we as a community need to stop removing features just because we don't use them ourselves!

            Suppose a new version of NetworkManager comes out after the developers say "Nobody uses b/g wireless anymore, it's too slow" Think I am going to buy new wireless devices when I don't have Internet access that can saturate a wifi b connection? Think again. I'm not going to change my hardware, I am going to either pin or patch the software.

            This is a good time to learn to work with source code, because the corporate backers at Red Hat and elsewhere are removing things their paying customers don't use from software used by everyone else. That way you can patch back in removed features or fix bugs that are ignored because the paying customers don't invoke them in their use cases.

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            • #7
              Isn't Korea mostly LTE-TDD now?

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              • #8
                If you don't have a clue, you should shut up.

                1. Removal has been discussed on the Networkmanager ML, nobody stepped up and said it is required, nobody is willing to maintain it.
                2. Major network operators have dropped WIMAX in favor of LTE. More operators have announced they will shut down the service in near future.
                3. The IEEE working group 802.16 (the one responsible for WIMAX) has dissolved itself.

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                • #9
                  okay, two things:
                  1. what the fuck is WiMAX? (yes, I do realize I could google it. Just saying that I've never heared about this and I've been in IT for over a decade now.)
                  2. who in their right mind would leave the config interface in place but rip out everything under it? I mean, do they plan on putting ANY kind of hint somewhere in the GUI/CLI? What kind of retard does that? If you remove functionality you also, ALWAYS, remove any- and everything that points to said functionality.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Luke View Post
                    (snip rambling)
                    Look, if you (or your country) cares about it that much, how about actually contributing some code or fixes? I'm sure they'd love to get actual code contributions, but if all you do is whine after-the-fact, then...

                    Sheesh. The dynamics here are not difficult to understand.

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