RFC: Keeping track of online/offline status & central DNS service

Thiago Macieira thiago.macieira at kdemail.net
Thu Nov 25 15:03:08 GMT 2004

Waldo Bastian wrote:
>A KDED Module that keeps track of the internet connection status and
> that provides DNS lookup service with intelligent support for
> round-robin DNS.

I'd like to add: centralised proxy service. I have been debating how to 
best handle this, and it seems to be a way out here.

This would, however, require that the caller app identify itself. For 
instance, the configuration for proxying in KMail may be different from 
that of the ioslaves. And Kopete, for instance, may require per-account 

If this isn't the place here, the functions would do well to indicate the 
"localness" of the address that was resolved. That way, the app itself 
may decide whether to use proxying or not.

More: mDNS, DNS-SD and service publishing.

>* Keeping track of online/offline status
>* Prevent unneeded connection errors when the user is offline

Apps should never present errors to the user about connections that were 
not user-initiated.

>* Make applications aware of online/offline status
>* Improve dial-on-demand functionality to kick in only with
>user-initiated actions.
>* Improve dial-on-demand functionality by [optionally] being aware of
> the local net topology and differentating between local addresses
> (always available)
>and internet addresses (availability subject to online/offline status)

I have to point out that this is for simple and slightly more complex 
networks only. For anything highly complex, this may not work.

Therefore, we have to make sure that the "always-on" mode, as it is now, 
keeps on working.

>Proposed DCOP interface

No big comments on the interface, except what I noted above about the app 
identifying itself.

Harri Porten said:
>What if there are multiple ways to connect to the Internet? Somehow the
>notion of a "profile" would be nice where a different connection would be
>used depending whether you are at home (LAN, DSL etc.) or travelling
>(cell phone etc).

I don't think this should be in the DCOP interface. The caller app just 
has to ask for connectivity. If there is more than one connection 
method/profile, there should be a dialog box popping up, asking that. 
It's also almost certain that passwords have to be input.

Waldo replied:
>Shuld the concept of "local access" be coupled [optionally] to a profile
>as  well? (use case: laptop in local network with local access to
>workstation or  mailserver, home network may or may not provide internet
>access, when  disconnected from local network laptop can use dial-in for
>internet access, but will have no "local access" to mailserver)

I think so. Aside from the local interfaces' networks, we may want to 
offer a way of editing the list of addresses, in an Advanced tab.

>Should profiles be exposed to applications?

Even though I've seen some apps do it, I don't think we have to, now. In 
the future, some specific apps, like KMail, may want to know about the 
profile. For instance, to choose a suitable SMTP server. But I don't 
think it should be now.

  Thiago Macieira  -  Registered Linux user #65028
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