[nos-bbs] case sensitivity of MID/BID - discussion needed

Andre andre at pe1rdw.demon.nl
Mon Feb 9 12:15:38 EST 2015

Op 09-02-15 om 17:03 schreef Michael E Fox - N6MEF:
> I think there are three parts to this.
> 1)  The first question to address is whether case sensitivity for
> MIDs/BIDs is necessary or not.  I don’t see this as a “consensus” issue
> but as a technical one.  The BBS spec I’ve seen is dated Nov 9, 2012. 
> It does not mention case at all with respect to MIDs or BIDs.  In other
> words, there is no requirement for case sensitivity.  So, unless someone
> can point to a specific technical reason why such a requirement should
> be added, then there is no reason to change the spec.  And until the
> spec says it’s required, it’s not required.  I think it’s that simple.
might be worth stating the relevant specs, this is from the 1993 specs:
    It is suggested that a generated BID have the form nnn_BBS,
    where nnn is the message number at the originating BBS system,
    and BBS is the callsign of the originating BBS system.


    BBS codes are free to create whatever form they wish as long as the
    length doesn't exceed 12 characters.

As the can be anything you want within the 12 characters it can also be
any mix of lower and upper case and there should be treated diferently
between cases as they are different BIDs, the common form of uppercase
callsign is just a suggestion.
This is even more appearant as users can assign a BID themself even if
it does not happen very often.
For exsample SB ALL at WW < PE1RDW $0001_Testmsg

> 2)  Next, comes implementing the spec.  I think this is simple, too.  If
> the spec requires case sensitivity, then all BBSs would need to maintain
> case during forwarding and compare based on case.  Otherwise, they don’t.
> 3)  Lastly, if case sensitivity continues to NOT be required, then is
> there a recommendation of what a BBS *should* do?  There are three
> options during forwarding:
> a)  maintain case (whatever MID/BID came in is what goes out)
> b)  always set to upper
> c)  always set to lower
> This is where we can reduce the number of opportunities for a problem to
> occur on BBSs that have not yet completed #1 and #2 above.  If we had a
> clean slate, then option A would cause the fewest problems with any BBSs
> that still compares case.  But I believe (not sure) that FBB may always
> set to upper.  And evidently JNOS sets to upper except if fbb 0 is set. 
> So with that installed base, perhaps the safest thing is to always set
> to upper.
Just had a quick look at the fbb source, it's not a wel documented code
but in the bidexms.c file it appears to compare case sensative and I
can't see any case adjusting in that file.

If that is indeed the case then it would be good to keep the case and
compare case sensative as wel as BPQ32 handles it that way too.

> Michael

73 Andre PE1RDW

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