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[aprssig] SSID Standardization

Bill Herrmann bherrman at spro.net
Mon Jun 7 15:08:52 UTC 2010

At 07:25 AM 6/7/2010, Robert Bruninga wrote:
>The SSID issue that I have raised mostly applies to those people
>that see APRS callsigns flashing across their small handheld
>screen, or cell phone, or mobile front panel.  It is nice to
>have a degree of recognition as to what a given callsign *might*
>indicate...  This helps with hands-off situational awareness...
>Which is important in the mobile environment.

So, lets do it the right way and flash it across their small screen 
with meaningful information and not assumptions that are unlikely to be true.

>We want to minimize (if not eliminiate) the need to go
>button-pushing, or knob twisting or map zooming just to get an
>idea of what a station is when most of them are not what we are
>interested in at the momemnt.

With a decent UI design you can get that information without 
button-pushing or knob twisting. Frankly, if I had to choose between 
displaying the SSID and displaying a character or two of real 
information the SSID would be gone. Displaying an icon is much more 
likely to convey reliable information.

>Having the possibility of SSID indication is a great 

The problem is, that it isn't. It's a really lousy filter because you 
have no idea whether the sender is using the same filter you are 
using. How many times have we seen people asking why a thunderstorm 
is driving down the road because they're using an outdated symbol set?

>So in commenting, consider that most users do not need to care
>about SSID's and so that is just fine.  They don't care what
>they are, nor do they care what they transmit.  That is fine and
>so it should not impact those that do care.

This is the crux of the whole issue. It absolutely DOES impact those 
mobile users because if they are making incorrect assumptions about 
what those SSIDs mean they have wrong information which is arguably 
worse than no information.

>But the mobile community that can receive and display APRS (as
>originally intended) is a category of users (a very GROWING
>category as more and more radio's display APRS directly) that do
>care about being able to have an idea of what type of station an
>APRS callsign represents as it flashes by.

So, if it is a growing category lets do it right and display the 
information we already have rather than putting bandages on that 
likely will lead to wrong assumptions about  what those mobile users 
are receiving!


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