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[aprssig] TNC command formats

Wes Johnston aprs at kd4rdb.com
Wed Mar 16 20:05:52 UTC 2005

I see where you are coming from about multiple ports delimited by the /, but I
also worry about having a command that must be issued in the right context.  If
you have to enter some command to specify which port you are working on, then a
2nd command to adjust some facet of that port, you could run into trouble or it
gets clunky.

I think the solution would be to add an extra variable to the command....

HBAUD 0 1200
HBAUD 1 9600

that way everything is contained in one line.  This is like Kantronics adjusts
their LTP, BLT settings...

Are you going to support digipeating?  6-pack?  if you do digipeating, will you
have a rule set for each port with a bit map of which ports something heard on
port X should be digipeated to?

Quoting Scott Miller <scott at opentrac.org>:

> My TNC's command interpreter is now up and running, and I'm pondering the
> best way to proceed with the command set.
> So far I've been following the TNC-2 style commands, with an interface
> modeled on the one used by Kantronics, with some minor differences.  For
> example, a Kantronics TNC will use the first matching command from its list
> that matches a partial command, while mine will accept a partial only if
> there's a single, unambiguous match.  Error responses, help screens, and
> that sort of thing are different, but my intent is to provide some
> compatibility with existing software, and reduce the learning curve for the
> user.
> There are some things I don't like about the Kantronics style, though - in
> particular the multi-port handling.  They have you use a / to separate
> options for each port, thus:
> HBAUD 1200/9600
> I don't like this, and I don't think it scales well to devices with more
> ports.  It's unwieldy, at the least.  Plus, my device supports multiple
> console connections - even in the current prototype, you can have a command
> session open on both the RS-232 port and USB COM port, and be entering
> commands both places.  This means that commands that affect the console
> connections need to be multi-port as well, with some port/option pairs (like
> baud rate for USB) being invalid.
> I'm leaning more toward a command structure like that used in Cisco's IOS
> (see <http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/710/lst/IOStutorial.htm>).  In config
> mode, you tell it to configure an interface, and all setup commands after
> that apply to the specified interface.  So rather than HBAUD 1200/9600,
> you'd use something like:
> HBAUD 1200
> HBAUD 9600
> Or maybe abandon the TNC-2 style altogether...
> configure
>  interface serial 1
>   baud 19200
>  interface radio 1
>   baud 1200
>  interface radio 2
>   baud 9600
> Though that's going to mean a steeper learning curve (at least, for those
> not used to IOS) and lack of backward compatibility.
> Keep in mind that the TNC has a file system, and will be able to load its
> configuration from a named file - so the command format needs to make sense
> both in the context of the command line and a configuration file.  And
> remember, it should still work when expanded to an arbitrary number of
> (possibly dissimilar) ports and interfaces.
> I'm leaning toward my first example, with the TNC-2 / IOS sort of hybrid.
> If you've got any suggestions on what you'd like to see, speak now or
> forever forfeit your right to bitch about it in the future - or at least,
> forfeit your right to have me care about your bitching about it.  =]
> Scott
> N1VG
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