Subject: Heads up: wi(4) default is now BSS
To: None <>
From: John Hawkinson <jhawk@MIT.EDU>
List: current-users
Date: 01/11/2001 14:34:15
[ also enveloped to tech-kern ]

Per my inquiry to tech-kern (which met with no opposition and
a bunch of affirmations), I've changed the wi interface's default
from ad-hoc demo mode (-p 3) to BSS mode (-p 1).

This means that those using WaveLAN cards with base stations
need no longer configure the card specially to do so. This means
that those using ad hoc mode will now need to specify

    wiconfig wi0 -p 3


    ifconfig wi0 mediaopt adhoc

I expect to pull this up to 1.5.1, barring objections.


Subject: Changing wi's default to BSS?
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2000 10:24:50 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Changing wi's default to BSS?
From: John Hawkinson <jhawk@MIT.EDU>

I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts about changing the default port
type of the wi driver from "ad hoc" mode to BSS mode.

It seems to me that more people are likely to be using BSS mode than
"ad hoc" mode, so it makes more sense as a default.  Also, those
configuring "ad hoc" mode will probably need to configure other
special parameters (e.g. channel), whereas those using BSS mode may
very well have "plug-n-play" configuration (modulo multiple networks,
or encryption), so it makes sense to put the burden of extra
configuration on those already doing cnfiguration.  Lucent's "ad hoc
demo" mode is also a non-standard proprietary thing, and not
necessarily interoperable with other vendors.

I was reluctant to propose this change for a while, because it has an
annoying transition issue. But recently, Lucent has made a firmware
change such that "ad hoc" mode is not always compatible across
cards. Apparently they have introduced a (possibly more 802.11
standards -compliant?) mode called "peer-to-peer" mode (or possibly
"IEEE ad hoc" as opposed to "ad hoc demo"?), and that -p3 selects that
mode under more recent firmware; -c1 forces "IEEE ad hoc" and -c0
forces "ad hoc demo" mode.

Other OS's make it hard to select "ad hoc demo" mode. Recent Lucent
drivers for Windows require you to edit the registry to select "ad hoc
demo" mode, and apparently Linux won't let you select "ad hoc demo"
mode at all if your firmware supports "IEEE ad hoc."

Anyhow, all this confusion over "ad hoc" modes suggests to me that
it's a good time to change wi's default to BSS. My inclination is to
just change it in both -current and 1.5.1. Does anyone have other
opinions or thoughts on the matter?