[aprssig] Old Digi_Ned Refurb

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Sat Sep 15 08:03:57 CDT 2007

>> To be reliable on demand, APRS must have consistent
>> performance expectations for users and not be at the
>> whim of digi owners to be changing the intent of the 
>> sender,

> I'm one of those draconian node ops who takes 
> paths greater then WIDE3-3 and rewrites them 
> so they fit the new paradigm.

Then how is the sender or anyone else to know that this person is using a path that is inconsistent with the New-N paradigm?  You change his path, and so the sender never will...

> I also take the old RELAY and TRACE paths and 
> convert them into something more appropriate.

Then how is this out-dated user ever going to learn that his path is obsolete?  You change his path, and so the sender never will...  And you have done him a great disservice, since his mobile will not work anywhere else, and he does not know that because of your digi's crutches.

Ham radio and APRS works on the knowledge of the operators and learning the skills to communcate.  If we let digis try to fix problems of uninformed users, then nothing ever gets fixed, and no one ever learns the right way to make things work.

Teachers do not correct the misspellings of their students and send the work forward, but they mark the errors and send them back so the student learns.

> I'd rather give somebody who's not quite figured 
> out the new paradigm out yet a shot at getting into 
> the network rather then just dropping their packets.

In my opinion, that is exactly the wrong thing to do.  If it "works" in your area because of your digi's crutches, then they will never have the incentive to fix it.  But the problem remains, they have learned nothing, and then their performance dies as soon as they leave the area which might be when they need it most.

> Digi_Ned is great for modifying non-compliant paths.

And I encourage everyone, in general,  not to use those features. As with anything, there maybe exceptions, but the whole goal of the New-N paradigm was:

1) GREATLY SIMPLIFY path setting in APRS to only WIDEn-N
2) Make WIDEn-N work well everywhere and be traceable
3) Then concentrate on USER EDUCATION how to use WIDEn-N.

Prior to New-N, it was frustrating and nearly impossible to focus on user education because the network had at least 7 different possible generic paths, that were used completely differently in different parts of the country, and so there was no such thing as what to tell users to do.  What works here, would not work there.  So no single document could even be used to educate users!  Each digi was unique and did not even tell users what it could do.

New-N changed all that... for the sole purpose of making it possible to EDUCATE USERS.  So that is why I oppose digi modification of user paths:

1) It does not facilitate correcion of user errors
2) It does not force users to get it right.
3) and modifying the intent of the sender undermines the integrity of the APRS network which assumes that the sender is APRS educated and knows what he is trying to do.

They are all three interrelated.

Hope that helps
Bob, Wb4APR


Steve <steve.jones at rogers.com>

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