[aprssig] New Digi Settings

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Thu Jun 9 09:22:53 CDT 2005

My statement was meant to imply that HAM radio is a
hobby among friends who share a common interest
in the joy of radio.  In my opinion it is self-defeating
to purposefully make on-air enemies and hate and 
discontent just for the purpose of squeezing out the 
last 5% of performance out of a network.  It was the human
side of the equation I was addressing.  Nothing 
techincal...  Getting some hams to change their
ways is a sensitive issue and needs care in how it is
done...       de WB4APR, Bob

>>> HamLists at ametx.com 06/09/05 8:04 AM >>>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Bruninga
> Posted At: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 3:30 PM
> Subject: Re: [aprssig] New Digi Settings
> just some thoughts.  But be careful.  It is the users we are 
> trying to support and no uesrs like to be
> too tightly managed by sysops.   Good lluck   Bob

This is a ludicrous statement, Bob.  This is the same as "no Internet
users like to be too tightly managed by their ISP's" or "no repeater
users like to be too tightly managed by the repeater trustees".  The
fact is, the user doesn't own the digipeater nor does the user have (nor
should they have) a say in the digipeater's operation, just like a voice
repeater.  It is the digipeater owner who should dictate what is proper
use of his/her station.

No where in the FCC rules does it say "repeater users are responsible
for the proper operation of the repeater".  In fact, it is the exact
opposite.  The license holder for a repeater station is responsible for
its proper use (hence the term "control operator") and not only can but
should dictate what that proper use is.  In the voice repeater world,
that means that sometimes they turn the repeater off to prevent abuse.
Other times, they contact the FCC to get enforcement actions against
those that are abusing their station (repeater).

The amateur radio community has taken a link level protocol (AX.25) and
tried everyway they can to abuse the path capability built into it.  In
ALL cases, that abuse (attempting to make it act like a network level
protocol) has ended in abject failure.  Statements like you made above
are holdovers from a time when people without networking knowledge felt
that the user should define how their data should be handled.  Thank
goodness that the "powers that be" in the Internet world shot that line
of thinking down long ago.  Otherwise, you wouldn't have the
connectivity you have today in the Internet.  That line of thinking
dates back to the days when you would have to ring an operator to get a
connection to another person on the telephone; it just doesn't work for
more than a few people.

As long as people such as yourself promote such a shortsighted attitude
towards AX.25, we will NEVER have an APRS _network_.  It will only be a
bunch of stations showing up as "pretty pictures" on "pretty maps"
(quotes from previous posts of yours) providing little value to the
general amateur communality.  If you really want APRS to go to the next
level and become really _useful_, get over this idea that the user must
control how their data is handled by the network.  There isn't a working
network in the world today that acts this way.  And the reason is
because it simply doesn't work under an level of stress.

If you really want to "support" the users, make it so they don't have to
know _anything_ about paths.  Gee, isn't that how that nasty thing
called the Internet works?  And isn't that how 802.11 works (RF
networking, for those uninitiated out there)?  And isn't that how your
cell phone works (also RF)?  Don't try to use the lame excuse that "this
is RF" or "we are amateurs, we don't do it that way".  That last
argument was used for years before the FCC mandated repeater
coordination which, surprise surprise, turned out to give us a lot more
usable repeaters in an area.  We are amateurs, but we don't have to make
the same mistakes over and over again to be able to learn from the
non-amateur world.

You have your "new" paradigm.  It has holes, as has been pointed out, so
now lets turn our attention to how we can take APRS to the next level.
And the way you do that is get rid of digipeating based on path.  Many
"smart digipeater" authors are already implementing (or have
implemented) the no-source-routing algorithm shown in the Spring 2005
PSR.  It might be worthwhile for you to expend some of your efforts with
Kantronics to get them to do the same.


Pete Loveall AE5PL
mailto:pete at ae5pl.net 

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