[aprssig] Object Naming Conventions

Pete Loveall AE5PL Lists hamlists at ametx.com
Fri Feb 24 19:39:08 CST 2012

We have been through this before.  The APRS specification states "All printable ASCII characters" and the definition of "all printable ASCII characters" includes the space character (look in the history of this SIG for references to documents definitively defining "printable ASCII characters" and wiki opinions are not definitions).  It also includes all ASCII punctuation, upper and lower case alpha characters, and zero through nine.  The D-STAR repeater objects are one of the currently most prevalent use of embedded spaces but the object name spec has NOTHING to do with D-STAR and D-STAR should not be referenced in object name documentation.  According to the APRS specification, object names are always 9 characters long and therefore spaces have been used since day one (trailing in most cases but the spec does NOT differentiate).  If a presentation platform doesn't delineate between case or doesn't allow specific combinations of ASCII characters, that is simply not adhering to the spec.  I made this same mistake originally with jFindu and fixed both javAPRSDB and the jFindu lookups to properly consider all 9 characters in an object name as uniquely identifying the object.  Because Bob's stated intent, now, was not to allow embedded spaces does not negate the spec.  KISS: follow the spec for both generation and presentation.

The Item name is the same as the Object name except that you cannot use ! and _ because of their use as terminators of the Item name and the Item name is always 3 to 9 characters terminated by either the ! or _.  Again, that is the spec and if the Item name contains spaces, so be it.  The spec says that is OK.  We have to quit thinking that if someone doesn't like this or that in a spec, just ignore it.  A spec doesn't work that way.  People should write to a spec, not to someone's random alteration of the spec.

Off of soapbox...


Pete Loveall AE5PL
pete at ae5pl dot net

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr)
> Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 6:39 PM
> On 2/24/2012 7:35 PM, Bob Bruninga wrote:
> >> If I had to call out a set that I'd see as visually unambiguous,
> >> not confused with part of a packet layout, and foreseeably...
> >> useful in object naming, I'd give a thumbs-up to:
> > - +=@#$%^&()~[]
> >
> >> (Yes, that's a space between - and +).
> > Great.  But I am uncomfortable allowing the space.  I never intended for a
> > space to be included in a name.  Unfortunately DSTAR had no choice so I
> > guess we have to allow it just for them?
> We could always write it up as "discouraged" but retained for backward
> compatibility with DSTAR-generated objects?

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