[aprssig] Information organization

Lynn W Deffenbaugh (Mr) KJ4ERJ at arrl.net
Thu Feb 17 15:25:39 EST 2022


I looked at what you've done so far and it certainly doesn't look like 
an "inventory" or a set of "hyperlink(s) to all the relevant pages", but 
instead the page describes itself as:

> This is an overview of the APRS protocol as it generally is 
> implemented at the beginning of 2022. The goal is to unwind and 
> connect v1.0, v1.1, proposed v1.2 that is implemented in practice, and 
> other useful information onaprs.org <http://aprs.org/>in perparation 
> for future APRS development.
> Please comment/make pull requests/add info as we try to piece together 
> all the documentation. Link to the documents on aprs.org and work to 
> present the info in a concise way.
But it's not even an "overview" in my opinion when it immediately dives 
into the details of the OSI Layers and then the individual bits of the 
AX.25 addresses. That's "content" in my definitions.

I can see you wanting to do something like this to better understand it 
yourself, and I did the same when I was learning.  But my collection was 
just a list of trigger phrases with a link to where I found the 
information.  I strongly resisted the temptation to copy/paste 
information from where I found it to my own notes because I learned 
early on that I'd end up needing one more nugget beyond what I copied.  
And it certainly didn't deserve publishing back then.

But Pete is correct.  While your desire to do something is commendable, 
we really don't need N people rushing off to duplicate effort in 
slightly different fashions and formats (I've seen at least FOUR formats 
proposed).  I know of at least one other person that is working to 
directly extract the aprs101.pdf information into something that we can 
eventually edit and/or re-format.  But that person (not me) is striving 
to NOT change a single thing, but simply recover the data and the format.

So, while I know we all want to see our own pet peeves with APRS 
resolved in short order (like documentation), I also agree with Steve 
(whose e-mails, incidentally, are still not getting through to me from 
the list) that some organization needs to happen first so that parallel 
efforts are going in a shared direction and not pulling in different 
directions from the center.

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

PS.  I would be glad to work with the powers-that-be to figure out why 
some aprssig e-mails are not getting through to my inbox.  I know it is 
at least Steve Dimse that I can only see in the archives, but there may 
be more.  I'd glad do an exhaustive comparison between the archives and 
my inbox if someone needs that much detail.

On 2/17/2022 1:54 PM, Scott Howard wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 17, 2022 at 1:25 PM Steve Dimse <steve at dimse.com> wrote:
> >
> > If you want to prepare for that time when we do start moving forward 
> and you can offer your services to the APRS group I think that is 
> great, but I think it is not yet time for public protocol documentation.
> >
> Maybe I wasn't clear, but this isn't about making any type of protocol 
> document nor proposals on how to change the protocol. From my previous 
> roadmap email, this was #1 (taking inventory). The text is actually 
> about the high level organization of what APRS is. It is just an 
> initial effort of trying to figure out what is even out there. If you 
> read it, I don't even write what the protocol is but hyperlink to all 
> the relevant pages on the aprs.org <http://aprs.org> website. (I do 
> put a couple individual "bits" of information about specific bits that 
> are buried on aprs.org <http://aprs.org> but important if you are 
> starting from scratch, just to be helpful). Any details of the 
> protocol are intentionally vague for the very reasons you pointed out 
> (I just say, "see this link, it's in this document, etc.")
> The first step to anything will be taking an inventory of what already 
> exists, regardless of which way people decide to go forward. So if 
> this is useful, great. If it's not useful, then don't use it. If this 
> ends up only being for my own benefit, I'm happy - and I'm happy to 
> share as well if it helps anyone.
> There is also an immediate need for people like me that are working on 
> developing hardware and embedded firmware that are struggling to even 
> figure out what we're supposed to do. Over the past two years, I've 
> figured it out - but it wasn't easy. A perfect example is the "New n-N 
> Paradigm" page (http://aprs.org/fix14439.html) where you're hit with a 
> massive wall of text, and nowhere on that page does it even tell you 
> what the New n-N Paradigm even is. There are a couple of other 
> examples like that where I've had to search a ton of documentation, 
> old TNC firmware documentation, or find nearly hidden links on 
> aprs.org <http://aprs.org> to get started. So that too is not written 
> like a protocol document but more as "here's where the info is. But 
> for my own sanity, here's a summary just so I can keep track of what's 
> going on." I also included things that are important for people like 
> me but buried in the site. You can ignore those pieces if you'd like.
> > We have two proposals for groups that will assume managing the spec. 
> One is a resurrection of the APRS Working Group in the control of a 
> handful of software authors, the other a group that represents all 
> stakeholders. How the integration of the spec, new and old info on 
> aprs.org <http://aprs.org>, and new additions will be handled depends 
> on which group moves forward. Those infrastructure decisions ought tp 
> be made by the people that have to live with them.
> I agree with this, which is why I'm not writing it like a protocol 
> document and instead writing it like an inventory of concepts. I agree 
> that we should be thinking high-level, both organizationally and 
> technically. That is what the document is attempting.
> -Scott
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