[aprssig] APRS Open Spec

Ron McCoy rmccoylist at blueantservices.com
Fri Sep 26 12:46:09 CDT 2008

Obviously, I agree. :)

I have server space along with wiki and polling software but very little 
time to support a site.

I'll watch and see if anyone better positioned steps up to help us with 

Jeff N0JUH wrote:
> I really like the idea of the community-maintained "open spec"! (as 
> suggested by Ron McCoy in "Re: [aprssig] Proper DIGI Path")
> A bazillion people (including myself) have asked BobAPR if and when the 
> spec will be updated and consolidated.  Maybe he doesn't have time, or 
> maybe he just doesn't want to - but it is clear that he's not going to 
> do it.  I think the community just needs to step up to the plate and get 
> it done.
> I would be glad to help with any "APRS Open Spec" initiative. I've 
> appended some more detailed thoughts below.
>    -- Jeff n0juh
> ---------------------------------------------------
>   - Is there some software out there (maybe a wiki sort of thing) for 
> collaborating on specifications?  Anyone with such software and some 
> server space willing to share?
>   - Can anyone here spell UML? :)  I've used it a bit to model and 
> develop software systems.  But I was surprised to hear that it is 
> actually used for standards documents.  (A cousin who sits some ISO 
> standards committees assures me it is true.)  It's a "specification" 
> that actually models the system, and can even be used to generate code! 
>   Plain text specs seem so lame in comparison :)  UML would be ideal for 
> specifying a system like APRS - but it may be too far out-of-the-box for 
> most hams.  Here's an easy introduction to UML: 
> http://dn.codegear.com/article/31863
>   - What if, while we were working on the spec, we ALSO developed code 
> that implemented the specification as written?  I'm thinking of a 
> low-level platform-independent C library that could be used by hardware 
> and software developers alike to build APRS products that conform to the 
> spec.  Industrial-strength, of course, with integrated testing and 
> verification.  I'm not talking about an APRS application - just a core 
> (or "kernel") library that implements the specification with a 
> well-defined API.
>   - My dream scenario: A consolidated and up-to-date spec with a aprs 
> core library that implements the spec as written.  An end to the 
> balkanized mass-confusion state of aprs of today!  (Of course, someone 
> once told me that this would be impossible, because the only people left 
> in aprs-world actually *like* it the way it is. Say it ain't so!)
> ---------------------------------------------------
> ---------------------------------------------------
> Ron McCoy wrote in "Re: [aprssig] Proper DIGI Path":
>> Perhaps, since the community here "discusses, argues and debates" the 
>> spec, the community should start an open spec of APRS so that all of the 
>> developers will be working form a known starting point.
>> This would certainly help interoperability and provide a forum to hash 
>> out the current ambiguities in the various standards documents.
>> Stephen H. Smith wrote:
>>> Robert Bruninga wrote:
>>>> Yes, everything that goes into the addendums is proposed,
>>>> discussed, argued, debated ad nauseum and finalized here on the
>>>> APRSSIG.  Then it is documented in the addendums.  The 1.1
>>>> addendum was solidified in 2004.  The 1.2 contains additional
>>>> items since then.
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