[aprssig] Some obscure APRS client questions

Andrew P. andrewemt at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 13 10:40:47 CST 2011

Of course .pos files are an application-specific feature. The issue is, is your (arbitrary competing) app compatible with the reigning standard application where it matters?

Look at Microsoft Office. For better or worse, it is the de-facto standard for business documents. So OpenOffice, WordPerfect, etc., all have to read and write documents in the Microsoft Office formats (not just their native file formats).

So, are UIView .pos files a de-facto interchange file format? Are there other applications commonly used by APRS users that read and write these files that a replacement for UIView would need to handle that file format in order to be compatible with those other apps? If .pos is a de-facto standard (regardless of what's in the official APRS standards), then software authors ignore it at their own peril.

As far as I'm personally concerned, .pos files are a perfectly reasonable format for external storage of objects. Since I haven't picked a file format for this in the app I'm authoring, I might as well pick .pos file format (unless it is a proprietary licensed format I'd have to pay a fortune to use; is it?). And nothing says an app can't support both the "standard" format _and_ the app's own native file format (presumably with some additional benefits to justify not using the "standard" format).

Just my $.03 (inflation you know ;-).

Andrew Pavlin KA2DDO
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

-----Original Message-----
From: "Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr)" <ldeffenb at homeside.to>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 14:02:42 
To: <aprssig at tapr.org>
Subject: Re: [aprssig] Some obscure APRS client questions

.POS files are in the spec?  I thought they were an application-specific 
feature, not an APRS specification.  Does that mean that my object file 
format and my configuration file formats, and everything else about my 
APRS client needs to adhere to the file format specifications of all 
other APRS clients?

I only support .POS as a form of backward-compatibility with earlier 
clients, not as a spec-compliance item.

What are specs, what are extensions, and what are options?  It seems to 
be getting grayer and grayer every day.

Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and Win32

On 11/12/2011 11:58 PM, Bob Bruninga wrote:
> OK, if STATUS can be in the .POS files, should I make sure that is in the spec?  Seems like a useful idea.  I doubt it would break any older programs?
> Bob, WB4APR
> ---- Original message ----
>> Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2011 12:07:25 -0800
>> From: aprssig-bounces at tapr.org (on behalf of "Keith VE7GDH"<ve7gdh at rac.ca>)
>> Subject: Re: [aprssig] Some obscure APRS client questions
>> To: "TAPR APRS Mailing List"<aprssig at tapr.org>
>> Bob WB4APR wrote...
>>> Interesting.  I do not remember that as part of the overlay.pos file
>>> format, but it is an interesting thought. Does UI-View do anything
>>> with that status text?  IE, parse it into the STATUS List?
>> Yes, it shows up in the status text... e.g. in the POS file...
>> LadyMinto!4851.72N/12330.49Wh
>> LadyMinto>Lady Minto Hospital - Ganges, BC
>> and on the map, it shows as the hospital symbol, saying
>> "Hospital LadyMinto" (9 character limitation)
>> along with the lat / long, the word OVRLY in the "time" field, nothing
>> in the beacon comment, but with the following in the status text...
>>> Lady Minto Hospital - Ganges, BC
>> I have many useful local things in my overlay file. Most are duplicated
>> in the UI-InfoKiosk which anyone can interrogate and then see their
>> screen / map or whatever. They go out as objects on RF.
>> In part, the UI-View help on overlays says...
>> The format of an overlay file is very simple. The first line is a description,
>> subsequent lines are location lines or status text lines. Location lines consist of
>> up to nine characters for a callsign/identifier, followed by a '!', followed by a
>> position beacon. Status text lines consist of a callsign/identifier, a '>' , and
>> some status text.
>> NOTE - UI-View32 overlay files are not fully compatible with APRS overlay
>> files, because APRS doesn't support the status text lines. However, if you create
>> overlay files for UI-View32 and include status text, anyone wanting to use them
>> with APRS can easily remove the status text lines.
>> 73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
>> --
>> "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
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