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Re: linux-wireless mailing list

To: Pavel Roskin <proski@xxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: linux-wireless mailing list
From: Jeff Garzik <jgarzik@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 2004 22:08:17 -0500
Cc: Jean Tourrilhes <jt@xxxxxxxxxx>, Netdev <netdev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
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Pavel Roskin wrote:

I believe the developers of Linux wireless drivers need a separate mailing
list, preferably called linux-wireless at  I don't expect
it to have heavy traffic, but there should be a definitive forum for
discussing issues common for wireless drivers on Linux.

I do not object to such a list, but I would respectfully request that all development matters be cross-posted to netdev@xxxxxxxxxxxx That's where the network developers hang out.

Now I present my opinions :)

I expect following topics to be discussed:

Wireless Extensions.  I highly respect Jean Tourrilhes who is doing this
work.  I believe that driver and userspace developers should use this
forum to discuss their needs and to provide feedback to Jean.

The wireless extensions are utility -- they work, but are not beautiful. I am presently writing the driver for the RealTek wireless card, and in the process creating a small wireless driver API. The ideal is to avoid ioctls, and instead to present extensible, type-safe interfaces. This is what I would like wireless extensions to morph into.

Handling of 802.11 frames.  We may need common code to convert 802.11
frames to 802.3 and possibly other standards.  Maybe some standards for
802.11 encapsulation and bridging could be discussed as well.

Absolutely. David Miller, Arnaldo Carvalho de Melo, and myself all seem to feel that a net/802_11 directory and associated code would be useful. There is definitely an area for code commonality across drivers.

Sniffing.  We need a common standard how to pass raw frames and additional
information to the userspace.  There are several de facto standards, but
the lack of communication between developers makes those standards less
useful.  For example, Prism2 headers were meant as highly extensible, but
libpcap expects them to be of fixed size.  It's an obvious failure to
communicate the intentions of the standard.


Encryption.  There are wireless specific encryption issues.  Host based
WEP support needs RC4 cipher in the kernel.  There's not much to discuss
here, but the lack of RC4 in the kernel may indicate that Linux wireless
developers are not acting together to make it happen.  The patch does

Send the patch to netdev!  ;-)  This should be the easy part.

Other interfaces between drivers and the userspace.  There should be one
place to discuss whether wireless drivers should be using
netif_carrier_on/off, ethtool and mii-tool support.  Again, there is not
much to discuss, but it's much much worse if the same questions are
discussed in different forums and every driver takes its own approach.

netdev is that place ;-)

Best regards and welcome,


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