Name needed: KDE 4 Network Management Applet

I'm nearly ready to move NetworkManager-kde4 to kdereview now, after a crazy week of rehashing the connection layer (the bit that writes your configured connections to KConfig (and optionally KWallet) into something that I actually want to support for a few years.

Before I move it and start telling people about it, I want to decide on a final name. This is important as it's not just what appears in the UI, but also determines the names of files like config files for connections, KNotify settings, translation catalogs, none of which you want to mess about with after a release. So I'm looking for suggestions for and opinions about a good name.

The name will appear in the UI:
* In the Add Widgets plasma list
* In Plasma's tooltip for the widget
* In the right-click menu on the widget ($NAME Settings..., Remove this $NAME)
* In System Settings
** Module list
** Window titles

And for the OCD award, this is where you'll see it on the filesystem
* $KDEHOME/share/config/$namerc
* $KDEHOME/share/config/$name.notifyrc
* $KDEHOME/share/apps/$name/
* $KDEDIR/share/kde4/services/kcm_$name.desktop
* $KDEDIR/share/kde4/services/plasma-applet-$name.desktop
* $KDEDIR/share/kde4/services/kded/$name.desktop
* .po files

Plese help me come up with good values for $NAME and $name. Currently I'm using an inconsistent mix of "Networks", "Network Settings", "knetworkmanager" and "networkmanager".

Here are some I thought of so far.
* Networks - nice and to the point but looks wrong in the widget right click menu, which shows "Remove this Networks" - bad name for hardcoded grammar
* NetworkManager - relates a bit closely to the implementation. We may make the 'business end' a Plasma::Service and Dario Freddi wants to work on a Wicd implementation of it.
* KNetworkManager - shows its heritage (since I worked on the KDE 3 KNetworkManagers) but there is very little common code, and really I'm not sure that it's a relationship to be proud of. Plus it would cause conflicts on distros where KDE3 and KDE4 share a KDEHOME.
* Networking
* Connection Manager - *Manager is so overused and it will coincide with Intel's ConnMan when we have a backend for that.
* Connections
* Connection Control Panel - works with "Remove this" but is clumsy when referring to the System Settings Module - eg "Connection Control Panel Settings"


I like Network Manager (including the space in the middle). It's the kind of component that most users will think of as part of the basic system, rather than one of many options (like the default panel vs. firefox/konq) so I'm glad you're going for something really straight forward. Definitely drop the "K" at the start.

I think "network" makes more sense than "connection". The name might clash a bit with the old KDE3 client and the server underneath, but developers are clever enough to spot the difference and end users need never know.

Also please make sure that "ath0/wlan0/eth0" etc. are really played down in favour of "wireless" and "local (cable)" or similar. Device names are a great way to alienate early adopters :-) I saw you did that in the settings screenshots and hope you'll be doing it across the board!

My one final gripe is that the earth icon currently used (in Kubuntu at least) really isn't obvious.

Looking forward to giving it a whirl...

By Tom Chance at Mon, 02/02/2009 - 11:08

Hi Tom, long time no see.

The interface names _are_ currently visible, but that's just due to laziness on my part. Using generic names like "Wired" or finding out the product name via HAL is on my list of things to do.

The green/grey globe icon is only in KDE 3 NM 0.7 as far as I know, I certainly haven't seen that icon turn up with the new applet.

By Will Stephenson at Mon, 02/02/2009 - 11:50

Great! The current version of KNM in Kubuntu is about the only bit of the desktop that's really nerdy and confusing for my partner. When you think of the actions that 99% of people need to take, and the options they need with your average home or office networking gear, it's really over the top. You just need to show available networks in plain $locale, prompt for the basic security settings when required, and allow people to configure in more detail if they then feel the need.

Rant over :)

I left the KDE promo community a year or two ago, haven't been on Planet or at any events since then. Life is just too busy! Glad to see the same faces popping up doing good work though :)

By Tom Chance at Wed, 02/04/2009 - 10:46


By f8 at Mon, 02/02/2009 - 11:18


+1 for $NAME == Network Manager

and for $name == maybe nm-widget or nm-plasmoid (still haven't quite grasped the difference between plasma widgets, applets and plasmoids ;-)

By cb400f at Mon, 02/02/2009 - 11:30

Knetter? As a play on a Dutch word meaning that one is a lunatic? And a reference to the mental state you can get into if you have to do this all by hand? :-)

By Ruurd Pels at Mon, 02/02/2009 - 11:38

I am a fan of the K spelling as its easy to find good help when using a search engine.
Think about "kontact" vs. "evolution" or "knetwork" vs "network".

So go the K-way or use something stange like e.g. "NetConnect" that noone else use.



By schnebeck at Mon, 02/02/2009 - 11:53

The obvious name would of course be Konnections rather than Connections.

By dalen at Mon, 02/02/2009 - 12:28

Network Management.

By jakob petsovits at Mon, 02/02/2009 - 12:54

Network Configuration.

By jakob petsovits at Mon, 02/02/2009 - 12:55