[Cerowrt-devel] [Commotion-dev] Commotion Router v1.2 enters release testing

Jonathan Morton chromatix99 at gmail.com
Fri Mar 27 22:24:36 EDT 2015

> On 28 Mar, 2015, at 04:05, Josh King <jking at opentechinstitute.org> wrote:
> I think the biggest problem we've had with including traffic shaping by
> default in our images is figuring out how best to provide an interface
> to users that is easy to understand and utilize. Any suggestions or help
> in that regard would be welcome.

Most people don’t have the first clue about it, or even that it is a necessary or desirable thing.  So ideally, you need something with either no knobs that’s invisible (or has a simple checkbox to turn it on with), or something with as few knobs as possible and clear instructions on how to turn them.

I’m currently working on something along those lines.

The one parameter that’s definitely situation-dependent is the bandwidth to shape at.  If you have an integrated DSL modem, you can probably derive that number from querying the sync rate.  If you don’t, you’ll have to ask the user to set it.  Even if you can detect a sync rate, though, you should let the user override it - some DSL ISPs throttle the connection by other means than sync rate.  NB: DSL sync rates do change occasionally, so poll it every minute and use “tc qdisc change…” to adjust without spilling the existing queues.

For everything else, put in sensible defaults, calculating from the given shaping rate where necessary, and do your best to avoid bothering the user with details up front.  At the same time, it’s probably wise to provide a way to see what’s being done behind the scenes, but make that an extra click.

If you want to also put in an advanced mode for people who do know what they’re doing, you can, but hide it behind an “advanced, here be dragons” button and make it easy to go back to the sane defaults.

 - Jonathan Morton

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