[aprssig] APRS specification document format and copyright

Georg Lukas georg at op-co.de
Mon Feb 14 12:09:32 EST 2022

* John Langner WB2OSZ <wb2osz at comcast.net> [2022-02-13 22:00]:
> Anyone who has tried to implement the protocol has found it difficult
> because two decades of updates are scattered around rather than being
> merged into the original protocol specification.
> I'm already pretty far along on updating the protocol specification with 
> the later notes.
> I took a copy of the original 1.0 specification and have been merging in all
> of the corrections, clarifications, and new features in the 1.1 addendum.
> Most of it is pretty straightforward.

If I remember right, the original editable version of the spec was lost.
Which document format are you using for your version?

For collaborative work, it would be great to get the specification into
a modern lightweight markup text format like Markdown or RST

It looks like RST already gets used for protocol specifications, so it
might be just good enough:

> The problem with putting it on github or otherwise making it publicly
> available Is that the original document is copyright 2000 by the APRS
> Working Group.

It looks like the APRSWG actually has a set of formal rules, and that
new members can be accepted into it:


So it's probably possible to vote new members into the WG and retain it
as the owner of the APRS spec.

> If the original "APRS Working Group" is no longer interested in maintaining
> the document, the new maintainers would need to obtain permission to 
> distribute a modified copy of the copyrighted material.

In a loose interpretation of "this document" I've taken the PDF through
a web-based PDF-to-Word converter (with a 50-page limit) and the result
through PanDoc to create an RST version. The raw, unedited, result can
be found at https://github.com/ge0rg/aprs101/blob/master/APRS101.rst

As expected, the original text is all there, but most of the markup is
misguided and will require significant manual cleanup efforts.

Kind regards,

Georg DO1GL
APRSdroid - Open Source APRS Client for Android | http://aprsdroid.org/m
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.aprsdroid.app | @APRSdroid
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