From Felipe T. Dorado@2:345/702 to Todos on Mon Aug 13 11:42:50 2001
Hoal Todos :)
Para aquellos interesados en Nodelists, especialemente la global.
* Forwarded by Felipe T. Dorado (2:345/702)
* Area : fidonews (fidonews)
* De : FidoNews Robot, 2:2/2 (Lunes 13 Agosto 2007 01:41)
* a : All
* Tema : FidoNews 24:33 [02/05]: General Articles =============================================================================
Interzonal nodelist discrepancies
By Michiel van der Vlist 2:280/5555
In an article in FidoNews #24 of this year, ex-ZC6, Carol
Shenkenberger announced the final demise of Z6 per july 26th. On that
date the last entry in Z6 was removed and a placekeeper was
substituted for the zone segment. No, this article is not about the
usefulness of the placekeeper. It is about another observation that it triggered. July 26th is a Thursday, so if all went well, the change
should make in in the nodelist of next Friday, #208.
Well, it didn't. Not in the version of the nodelist that is
distributed in zone 2 anyway. So I got myself a copy of the Z1 and Z3
nodelists #208. And yes, the placekeeper was there. The change did not
appear in "my" nodelist until #215. So the Z2 nodelist is one week
behind that of Z1 and Z3? For this change yes. But there seems to be
more to it than just a simple one way delay.
On Monday July 30th I submitted a change in the net 2:280 segment. Two
nodes, 1026 and 4312 that had been flagged as Down for some time, were
removed. The change made it into "my" nodelist #215 next Friday. But
not into the nodelists as distributed in Z1 and Z3. It did not make it
into Z1 until a week later: #222. So it seems the "own zone" is always
a week ahead?
No, because an even more intriguing discrepancy is that 1:275/311 is
listed as Down in Z2 nodelist #222. But not in any of the Z1 versions
that I laid hand on. This can not be explained by a mere delay. The
only explanation that comes to mind that a change was submitted and
later retracted. The change was processed, both for the Z1 and the Z2
list. The retraction however only made it in time to annul the change
made into the Z1 nodelist, but not in time for the Z2 nodelist.
Someone unfamiliar with the internal workings of FidoNet might easily
conclude that it is the International Coordinator that issues the
FidoNet nodelist and that therefore every member of FidoNet has the
same nodelist. Well, it isn't so. It may have been done like that in
the very beginning, but soon - if not right away - after zones were
introduced the ZCs started issuing their own versions of the nodelist.
They gathered the partial zone segments from each other and assembled
their own version of the nodelist from them. This made sense in the
days when sending files to another continent was expensive and slower
channels than a direct ZC to ZC contact were used to reduce the cost.
The versions distributed in the different zones are not the same. The
most obvious difference is that the zones lists their own zone first.
This was introduced by the first ZC2, Henk Wevers. His own mailer
Dutchie did not use an index file to access the nodelist, it did a
simple linear search. Since most lookups were within the own zone,
putting that first speeded up the process of nodelist lookup. Other
zones followed this practise.
All this made sense at the time. But now, when we have almost
instantaneous global communication at next to zero cost? A change I
submit on Monday, does not make it into the other zone's nodelists
until Friday next week, ELEVEN days later?! In 2007? Oh c'mon guys, we
can do better than that!
Why do we still have a different nodelist for each zone? All the
reasons for doing it in the past no longer apply. Why not let the
International Coordinator assemble a list and distribute that as *the*
FidoNet nodelist. The only obstacle I see is that we do not seem to
have an IC at the moment. There isn't a zone/1000 entry - the
traditional AKA if the IC - in any of the five zones of FidoNet that
remain. None of the ZC's seem to claim the position.
Still, even lacking an IC, there is no excuse for all these delays.
There is no technical reason that I can see, why a change on the net
level that is submitted on Thursday afternoon by an NC, can not be
included in in the nodelist that is available to every Fidonet member
on Friday morning. What it takes is a bit of interzonal coordination.
Something that never was the strong point of FidoNet, to use an
understatement. So guys at the top of the *C hierarchy get your act
together and do what it says on your hat: Coordinate!
(c) 2007, Michiel van der Vlist. All rights reserved.