[aprssig] APRS Virtual Bulletin Board

Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr) ldeffenb at homeside.to
Fri Sep 3 11:05:28 EDT 2010

Ok, it's obvious that you haven't seen the new Messages / Bulletins / 
View feature on APRSISCE/32.  I did read your concept, and did implement 
it, as has Hessu before me, as a .  As you pointed out, it is a 
challenge with a full-feed from APRS-IS, but check out 

I've gone one step further than Hessu and even further than you 
described below.  Since there's not only a "line" number but also a 
"group" within the BLN destination spec, I sort the bulletin board based 
on source callsign, group, and within group by line number.  You can see 
a screen capture of the APRSIS32 bulletin view at 

As with a lot of things in APRSISCE/32, there's more work to be done 
here.  I plan to colorize the newer entries and also have an age-based 
purge of non-refreshed bulletins.  Given the concept of the net cycle 
time and your description of the new users quickly filling up with new 
bulletins, then current bulletins should continue to be received and 
refreshed (but not highlighted .  Also, I plan to allow a filtered 
display based on source callsign so that you can bring up KJ4ERJ-AP's 
bulletins and only see those.

You mention "clearing" a bulleting.  How is that done?  Transmitting the 
bulletin group/line with no text?

You also mention that the display is "SORTED By callsign AND line 
number" but in the same paragraph you say "The new
line with the same bulletin number REPLACES the previous one."  I assume 
that should be the "same bulletin number from the same callsign"?

My goal is to implement APRS as it needs to be for the functionality 
that users can find useful.  Bulletins definitely fit that definition in 
my book, so I really appreciate the feedback and assistance at helping 
me get it right.

Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and Win32

PS. Given that many of us DO restart our APRS clients periodically, I 
still believe persisting the bulletins is a good idea.   Otherwise, when 
the client first starts, not only will the "Bulletin board ... soon fill 
with all currently ... bulletins", but the arrival of each of those 
bulletins will also be (quite inappropriately, IMHO) alerted to the user 
as NEW.  This is like crying wolf with the new bulletin notification, so 
to avoid doing this, I need to know what the bulletins were last thought 
to be and only alert if a bulletin actually changes (including changes 
from nothing to something for new ones).

Robert Bruninga wrote:
>> 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
> away.
> 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
> today.
> 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?
> Thanks
> Bob, WB4APR
>> If you view telemetry with my new client, it will use the 
>> most recently
>> received definitions.  It will also mark the definitions as
> used
>> 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
> Win32
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