WLAN status update

Werner Almesberger werner at openmoko.org
Mon Jan 12 10:07:06 CET 2009

Andy Green wrote:
> It seems like it is turning off ieee80211 powersaving mode (the AP
> beacon dropbox system) in order to have that kind of impact.

You mean the synchronized wakeups ? Yes, it could be that.

> I don't think rfkill itself has much expectation except to stop the
> transmission action.  It doesn't care how we're doing that or what
> residual power is pulled at DC.

The expectations are as follows:

- explicitly, it has to be bullet-proof. rfkill attempts to achieve
  this reliability through simplicity (i.e., just "throw a switch"),
  but our interface to the firmware is way more abstract.

- in the discussion on linux-wireless, Michael Buesch also mentioned
  that rfkill is expected to act "immediately".

- implicitly, rfkill is also not expected to mess up any other
  configuration, but the documentation doesn't state this (yet).
  This follows naturally if you assume that what you have is a simple
  switch, but if you don't, these are not trivial semantics. (I.e.,
  the closes thing the original Atheros code has, --wlan disable,
  does interfere with concurrent configuration.)

> Sure it's a hack.  But, it is simple to explain to a user with the issue
> in the meanwhile.

Yup. I'm glad that we have a work-around at all. It's just not the
end of the story.

- Werner

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