[X Newbies] OSX not dial-up friendly

Eugene Lee list-themacintoshguy at fsck.net
Wed Sep 24 17:16:11 PDT 2003

On Wed, Sep 24, 2003 at 04:12:07PM -0700, Kevin Stevens wrote:
: On Wed, 24 Sep 2003, Eugene Lee wrote:
: >
: > So we have two possible courses of action:
: >
: > 	Choice #1: Mail.app tells Internet Connection.app to establish
: > 	a dialup connection.  Then Mail.app retrieves email.  Finally
: > 	Mail.app tells Internet Connect.app to close the dialup
: > 	connection.
: >
: > 	Choice #2: An AppleScript tells Internet Connection.app to
: > 	establish a dialup connection.  Then the AppleScript tells
: > 	Mail.app to retrieve email.  Finally the AppleScript tells
: > 	Internet Connect.app to close the dialup connection.
: >
: > Some users want Choice #1.  Other users (in the name of properness,
: > appropriateness, correctness, etc.) want Choice #2.  But both choices
: > accomplish the same task, yet both raises the same problems of closing
: > the connection while other apps might need it.  So what's the point of
: > arguing that one choice is better than the other, when they both do the
: > same thing?
: First, I'm not arguing.

But you are stubborn.  :-)

: I don't care where you put the @#$#% button to run the Applescript.  Put
: it on the Mail button bar if you like.  My point is that it needs to not
: be a default/builtin action, that there needs to be an overt
: acknowledgement by the user that they are operating outside the confines
: of the Mail application, and affecting the rest of the system.

If the user understands, why the need for an overt acknowledgement?
That's like asking for the admin password every time you wanted to
change the screen resolution.  Or have we forgotten the lessons of
the Public Beta?

: The difference that I'm trying to articulate is between the user who is
: aware that their actions are global in nature, and accept those
: consequences, and the user who is oblivious to the fact that their actions
: are global in nature and may be affecting any number of other users,
: programs, or processes.  This is equivalent to the authorization step of
: entering an admin password to install an application.

Installing an app may alter system files on your local machine.  But
connecting to and disconnecting from the Internet isn't so severe and
doesn't really alter system files.  Why equate the two tasks?  They
don't even have the same perils.

: > It just doesn't seem so obvious that, in this case, it is utterly
: > importantly to recognize the difference between the OS and the app.
: I don't and didn't insist on that; it *is* important to recognize the
: different roles and responsibilities implicit in the request.

Recognition does not invalidate the desire for automation.

: A single
: user of a single application doesn't, and shouldn't, have the ability to
: affect the entire system.  That's the answer to why the application
: doesn't have a button built into it.  If you want to say "I accept
: responsibility for everything else that may be going on" (which is quite
: reasonable if you know that nothing else IS going on), then put on your
: admin hat and say "Make it so.".  You can identify that distinction by
: prompting for an admin login each time, which is cumbersome in this case,
: or by assigning the responsibility to the system, which is the way it's
: built into OS X as discussed, or by taking the overt step of writing a
: script or adding a button, or customizing Mail in some other way that
: gives it abilities and powers far beyond those of mortal applications.

You know, you can set up PPP access to automatically get a dialup
connection when an app needs Internet access.  Strangely, some users
forget this little checkbox once they've done so and sometimes wonder
why their computers might suddenly dial the modem during odd hours.
Other users have no problem with it.  So what if automated PPP access
affects the entire system.  It is also part of every consumer OS and is
considered a standard feature.  And it doesn't need admin privileges.

Automatically closing an Internet connection has no more danger, peril,
or grave responsibility to system resources than opening an Internet
connection.  It's the reverse function to a standard OS feature.  And I
still don't see the big deal.

BTW, Kevin, I'm just discussing my views on it.  Not trying to incite a
protest or anything.  :-)

Eugene Lee

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