[Fwd: Re: testing for Internet connection]

Chipp Walters chipp at chipp.com
Sun Dec 19 17:40:47 EST 2004

Alex Tweedly wrote:

> I agree that's what you need it to do. The problem is that in some 
> circumstances (such as the one I described earlier), it won't respond AT 
> ALL for about 30 seconds. During that time, the app will be completely 
> non-responsive - doesn't make a good impression on users. If a user gets 
> tired of waiting for this unresponsive app, and clicks on the close 
> button, she'll get the Windows error "app is not responding - do you 
> want to terminate it".

Good point.

>> Perhaps a combination ping then get url may suffice.
> That's what I was suggesting. A ping (to numeric IP) to verify that a 
> logical route to the internet exists - followed by a get URL - ideally 
> to the host/domain that the app needs to connect to, or failing that get 
> URL to a well-known, well-connected, safe server (google, yahoo, akamai, 
> cisco, or some such).

Then there's always the question, what ip address do you ping? Any
IPaddress I have may or may not be available at a given time as
IPAddresses are even less reliable than domains. Perhaps you know of an
IPaddress which is 'always on'? Then, it would make a good first ping
for the handler/function.

I, like Richard, and others, have perused the lists to no final outcome
regarding this 'am I connected' issue. I like your idea of pinging
first, and it would be a wonderful contribution to the community to
collectively create the best handler/function for this.

> If you can get URL from google, but not from the server the app needs, 
> how does that get reported to the user ?  Seems to me most users don't 
> need to (or want to) distinguish between those two cases, so the only 
> thing that really matters is successful communication with the server 
> the app needs to talk to.

I have my own errors dialogs when connecting/not connecting. But, it is
easier to debug if I know the user can already get to Google.

> Yeah, Google have been off the air for around 18 hours in the last 4 
> years - so it's not a major problem :-)  But if the app won't do 
> anything useful without contact to your own app - why not just test that 
> directly. Having a tiny html file (assuming you need to serve html 
> anyway) is almost no cost, and will give the client apps exactly the 
> info they need.

Google's record is better than mine! ;-)

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