Been traveling in the USA for a couple of weeks now. I was prepared for bitter timetime with my Debian and wireless roaming. So I've mastered the use of commands ifconfig and iwlist and such. The reason is that I've had my share already with network-manager.
I always found gnome-network-manager resource hog, and non reliable. And when I tried it two weeks ago after one and a half years I discovered it's developed so much I can't recognize it anymore. It has too many options, and it's more suitable to a network engineer than a simple user. What happened to the GNOME simplicity I don't know, some one in Red Hat really screwed up with the development of it.
Anyways, I decided to give WICD a shot. Hearing only warm words of it I downloaded the version from Debian repos, and after a minute I was already connected and running wireless.
What makes WICD awesome ?
It's reliable, It's easy to use because the user interface is clear and simple. And most importantly it stays out of my way, unlike gnome-network-manager.
The latter needed to many mouse clicks and dialogs to configure, whereas wicd just needs one click.
Here's a screenshot of the simple wicd notification:
I really like the simplicity. Just for the nostalgia I keep also on the panel the gnome-netstatus-applet...
P.S I forgot to mention, I really think this should be the default network application in Debian/Ubuntu and other gnome based distros.