[aprssig] APRS-IS and metadata

Borja Marcos ea2ekh at gmail.com
Fri Aug 18 02:06:32 EDT 2023

> On 18 Aug 2023, at 05:21, Lynn W Deffenbaugh (Mr) <KJ4ERJ at arrl.net> wrote:
> Yes, anyone can put whatever they want in the comment section of THEIR OWN packets.  IGates and digipeaters MUST NOT modify the packet except as provided in the path section for their particular operations.  The source, destination, and payload of packets must not be modified as the packet traverses the RF and APRS-IS networks.

Yes, that is clear. Alas, it is useless. Those arbitrary comments would not be effective to be used for searches, for example. Let me use a reductio ad absurdum with
no offense intended of course: Why do we store packets in the databases instead of their audio recordings? ;) Because we want usable, actual data.

I insist, I am not talking about modifying any packets. That would be obviously stupid. I am talking about enriching data so that each packet
stored in the databses is not only a plain packet, but it can have fields describing its context, which is an entirely different matter.

Some of that metadata can prove tremendously valuable, actually. Imagine that you tag the records describing the packets (again, not modifying the
packets) with a couple of fields describing the software/hardware used for reception and a firmware version. One day, after a firmware update is distributed,
you may find out that a particular version caused some degradation, for example. Context can be tremendously valuable.


Borja / EA2EKH

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