[aprssig] Re: UIVIEW

Keith - VE7GDH ve7gdh at rac.ca
Sun Dec 12 00:36:30 EST 2004

John wrote on 11/12/2004 5:07:57 PM

> UI-View is dying software. Yes there is a possibility to use plug ins for
> some tasks but the core is unchangeable.

I'm not suggesting that UI-View32 ver 2.03 will be used forever, but every time someone does a survey, UI-View seems to on the top of the list for the sheer number of people using it. There must be a reason for it. It is easy to install, easy to configure, and it "does APRS" and it does it very well. Again, I'm not bashing other programs and I welcome the development of them. I'm just suggesting that the future for UI-View isn't all that bleak. It won't have an infinite lifetime, but there isn't going to be a "mass uninstall" of the program just because the author passed away.

> It can not be updated as APRS changes. When new mapping versions come
> around it will be locked in to older and older versions.  I saw this happen
> with APRS+SA.

I'm not sure what you mean by "new mapping versions" but unless there are fundamental changes to "APRS" it will never become totally obsolete. It is as easy as pie to create static maps. Many people use Precision Mapping ver 5 & 6 with UI-View32, and there is nothing stopping someone capable of writing the code from creating new "map servers" to work with 3rd party map programs as they come along. I assume that "the APRS working group" actually exists, and may even suggest some additions to the spec down the road, but I would be very surprised if they were to propose changes that would be totally incompatible with UI-View or any other program that has such a huge following. It would be more than counter-productive to change the spec in such a way that it just wouldn't work with existing APRS programs. As far as I know, the APRS spec came first and then once it was published, various authors proceed to write APRS programs in such a way that they conformed to the published spec. I realize that the spec isn't cast in stone, and may be added to from time to time, but it would be somewhat foolish to propose a change just to try and make a particular program obsolete.

> UI-view also has significant flaws in it's message
> system.  It does not have decaying algorithm or reply acks. This lack makes
> messages almost useless.  If you have never used APRS DOS or APRS+ in a
> tactical environment then you do not understand this issue. It does make a
> HUGE difference.

Significant flaws? Maybe it could be more flexible or decay in some way, but I have UI-View set to retry messages every 60 seconds for 5 times, and to "retry on heard" (if the other station re-appears) and to expire after 60 minutes. By "decay" I assume that you would rather it decayed something like the way UI-View handles bulletins... send after 2, 5, and 10 minutes, and then every 20 minutes until deleted, and the way it handles announcements... send after 2, 5, 10, 20, 30, and 60 minutes and then every 60 minutes after that until deleted.

UI-View can be set to send acks by the unproto path specified in the station set-up, or it can be via an unproto path derived from intelligently reversing the path by which the message was received.  I don't send a lot of APRS messages, but have used them from time to time, and I never got the impression that it was flawed in any way and I don't think I would describe its way of messaging as being useless.

>  It also has no way to limit bulletins from areas that abuse them.

Wouldn't this come under the exclude / include lists where stations can be excluded, and "edit IGATE ini" where you can specify callsigns / aliases that will "have traffic, besides messages to your local stations, gated from the Internet to RF"? You can specify callsigns using wildcards, and then proceed to determine what will be gated, including the "none" setting where no traffic will be gated from a particular station, even messages to local stations. I have never had to deal with an abusive situation, but it seems that there are tools built right into the program to deal with such a situation.

And then there is the add-on UI-Filter... it "gives you greater control of what you want to see in UI-View32... including a callsign filter, emergency filter, symbols filter, to call filter, and digi path filter" and so on. I assume that this adds to UI-Views capabilities instead of replacing them.

> I am unwilling to continue to rely on a software package that can not be
> modified to adapt to changing needs. I am therefore trying to move to
> an open source platform where this will not be an issue in the future.

I'm still not sure what the "changing needs" are. I'm not saying that the APRS spec is carved in stone and will never be changed, but I have enough faith in my fellow hams that I don't think that they would go out of their way to change it in such a way that it would completely obsolete a particular program. Anyone is of course free to use UI-View or any other program that suits their needs better. My original reply and this one are really reflecting my opinion that the program is not obsolete and it isn't broken. A handful of people over on the UI-View list have expressed opinions very close to yours. I have no idea if they are still using UI-View or if they have moved to other programs. One of these days (if I ever have any spare time - hah!) I will probably give Xastir a try, but no matter how much I like the program, it won't obsolete UI-View. Who knows what APRS programs people will be using five or ten years from now, but unless the spec is radically changed, programs like UI-View and Xastir will be around for a while.

> I use UI_View and will continue to do so until I find a better solution but
> I think it is short sighted to fail to recognize the pending future need
> for changes.

That's pretty much what I am doing... using it until there is a better solution. One day there will be a compelling reason to move to another program and when that day comes, I will move. I just think it is wrong to suggest that UI-View has a bleak future. On the contrary, I think that because it is so well written, it will be around for a while. I am in 100% agreement with you that the core program won't be updated, but I am also of the opinion that that there will be at least a few more add-ons.

Sorry if this seems like a rant, and I know you previously stated that you were having trouble posting to the Xastir list so posted here, but it was the "bleak future" bit that prompted me to send a reply.

73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
"I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"

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