On 06/02/2011 04:39 PM, Rick Mann wrote:
I've tried that, and it has never worked. Couldn't figure out what I did wrong.
Even if this did work, it's hardly a solution for crafting a great user experience.
A great user experience allows the user to plug their new USB device in either before or after installing the supplied software. The supporting software is an application bundle (on a .dmg disk image if downloaded) which the user installs by dragging to the applications folder, or any other location of their choice. To the user, the software is a single file which they can mange like any other file using the Finder. The software is NOT an installer. The user is NEVER required to supply their admin password, not during installation and not while running, unless there is a genuine and clearly understood (by the user) need for the software to do system-level tasks.
If the USB device is already plugged in when the software is run, it's detected automatically. If plugged in after the software is run, it's detected quickly by the software. Unnecessary dialog boxes are avoided and the user is only ever prompted with questions that are directly relevant to their intended usage specific to their new USB device.
Requiring a kext at the very least breaks the case where the user plugs their new device in before installing anything. Requiring an admin password, when the device and all other resources would otherwise not need admin access, is also pretty objectionable.
What's needed is some indication in the USB descriptors which tells the CDC driver and related infrastructure in OS-X that this device is NOT a modem and that prompting the user with a network configuration dialog is inappropriate. In such cases, no user interaction should occur. Software wishing to use the device can find it by the /dev/cu.XYZ node or by scanning the ioregistry.
I'm sure "there isn't a standard for that" will be the reason this is impossible or impractical. Well, in the end, it's a matter of priorities. As an independent USB device developer, I care only about the total quality of my customer's experience. I only care about standards insofar as they facilitate long-term high quality user experience.
Sadly, before this network config dialog, CDC for non-network general purpose devices on OS-X had great usability. I'm sure this makes the usability much better for the case of modems. But with dial-up networking going the way of the dinosaur and USB-enabled microcontroller-based products becoming ever cheaper and more common, does focusing on dial-up modems and the expense of generic serial really make sense?
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