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'[EE] CDC-ACM and Mac OS X network preferences dial'
2011\09\27@012031 by Xiaofan Chen

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This is an interesting thread. It shows how difficult to
convince Apple that there is an issue. Probably the
answer from a prominent Linux USB developer finally
wakes them up...

The center of the issue is that often MCU developers use
CDC-ACM for virtual serial port usage. And Apple insists
popping up network preferences dialog for these device
even though they are clearly not a modem.

Start of the thread.

Then quite a few follow-ups in June.

Apple claims that they are correct since CDC-ACM device
are networking device.
"Since your device is declaring itself to be a networking device.
That is what a CDC ACM device is.  We are actually doing the right thing.
In the past we had complaints because when a user plugs in a real
CDC ACM device there was no way for the user to know where to
go to configure the dial up connection.  As far as I know the USB
Device working group is not working on any standards for serial devices
that are not related to networking.  When you use a Standard device
type for some other use we have no way of knowing this."

Paul kind of gave up.

The discussions came back on September.

Paul has more findings here.

Then I asked in the Linux usb mailing list and got the answer back
to confirm his findings.

Summary of the issue:
"The issue is the network preferences dialog popup appearing the
first time a OS-X user first connects any USB Communication
Class device.

In the common case where the device is a modem or network
interface, it's a real benefit.  Modems in particular need manual
user settings, so automatically prompting the user has excellent

But the usability is terrible in the increasingly common scenario
where a non-modem device uses this protocol.  Unexpected
appearance of the network preferences can very falsely alarm
users.  At the least it's confusing or distracting."

Apple finally seems to recognize that there is an issue. Hopefully
they will fix in future version of Mac OS X.

-- Xiaofa

2011\09\27@040752 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
I have always thought a 'modem' is not necessarily able to accept AT
commands. Moreover, not necessarily able to dial numbers or handle a PSTN
line any other way. The word 'modem' is coming from MODulator-DEModulator,
right? Aka modulating a digital signal on an analogue one and then
demodulating it to digital at the other end - nothing more.

Now we also have to define what 'network' is :-) But yes, 'network' is not
equivalent to TCP/IP and not even necessarily need to meet the OSI model
either, therefore popping up an IP settings is clearly silly. However, a
'network' also could mean any type of communication in between DCE and DTE
including the hardware and software layer, so maybe Apple just need to
redesign the network configuration window to popup the serial line settings
instead (baud rate, stop bits, data bits etc) and only if you decide to put
a PPP on top of it they need to bring up further settings.

What do you think?


On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 6:20 AM, Xiaofan Chen <> wrote:

{Quote hidden}


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