[aprssig] APRS Virtual Bulletin Board

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Fri Sep 3 09:53:59 EDT 2010

> I also needed to persist the bulletins 
> to avoid calling every received bulletin "new"
> when first turning on the software.

I would not do it that way.  When one fires up his APRS on RF,
his 40 line virtual Bulletin board should soon fill with all
currently relevant local RF bulletins.

Almost every implementation of Bulletins in APRS follow-on
clones does it wrong.

APRS Bulletins are NOT JUST ANOTHER MESSAGE line... To be saved
in time sequence in a never ending history file.

that is supposed to be seen by ALL participants.  Its like
having a bulletin board at the EOC where people post important
things for ALL to see.  They remove them when they are no longer
active, they ADD them when new info becomes available.  When one
needs updating, it is REPLACED.  When new lines are needed, they
are INSERTED.  When there is no more room, the oldest are thrown

Also each time a new one comes in, it is SORTED By callsign AND
line number so that the sender can maintain a multi-line
bULLETIN topic by only updating the line that changes.  The new
line with the same bulletin number REPLACES the previous one.

This way, there is never any question that everyone is seeing
exactly the same VIRTUAL bulletin information everywhere in the
event, irregardless of when it was initiall posted, or where it
might have sat in time sequence.

So, if a client just logs bulletins into a historical log, then
it missed the point.  This was the number one issue I had with
WinAPRS from day one.  It just logged bulletins into a
sequential bulletin log and so users were not seeing the big
picture nor could the Virtual Bulletin board be maintained.
Then other clones copied that, and the value of the Virtual
Bulletin board in APRS has very little value to those users

So, I hope you can implement the original concept.
Please see http://www.aprs.org/txt/bulletinBoard.txt

Though it is a challenge when watching the fire-hose on the
APRS-IS.  So I would make it RF ONLY, or some other way to limit
its range to a LOCAL area.  If you could do that on the APRS-IS,
that would really be neat!

You could simply designate a BULLETIN LOCATION, and only display
the VIRTUAL bulletin board for that location by only posting
bulletins originated within X miles of that location.  As a
default, I'd choose say 64 miles?

> If you view telemetry with my new client, it will use the 
> most recently
> received definitions.  It will also mark the definitions as
> whenever telemetry is received or new definitions are
received.  I'm
> still trying to determine a good default for inactivity 
> before dropping
> a non-referenced set of definitions and/or bulletins.  And
even when I
> do that, it'll be some relatively long period after starting
the app
> before the purge happens so that the first activation after a
6 week
> vacation doesn't wipe everything out unnecessarily.
> Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and
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