Category talk:DEC Serial Interfaces

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Separate synchronous and asynchronous?

Should there be separate categories for synchronous and asynchronous serial interfaces? We already have Category:UNIBUS Serial Interfaces and Category:QBUS Serial Interfaces, but they both contain both synchronous and asynchronous serial interfaces. Jnc (talk) 11:58, 15 August 2022 (CEST)

Well, there are some controllers for busless systems like the MicroVax 2000 / VAXstation 2000 for example. As those don't fit into neither QBUS nor UNIBUS I created a new category. Yes, I thought of subcategories for synchronous / asynchronous serial interfaces (and there are interfaces that implement both, e.g. the DMF32), but did not implement it yet.
I think I should rather call it "DEC Busless Communication Controllers"... By the way: Is "busless" the correct word? Could you please rename it if "busless" is correct (or suggest another word)?
Maybe there should be a kind of "Super"-Category "DEC Communication Controllers" (my old category name) for all types - bus-based or busless? Vaxorcist (talk) 12:16, 15 August 2022 (CEST)
Yes; we clearly need a category the 'bus-less' ones can go into. Whether that is a separate category ('Non-bus Serial Interfaces'), or they just go into a parent 'Serial Interfaces' category, I do not know (yet).
My question about separate categories for synchronous and asynchronous interfaces was background for a more complete re-arrangement of the 'DEC Serial Interfaces' categories (although I did not make that clear - I was just waking up :-). It would be appropriate to have a parent category for them all - although I am not sure 'Communication Controllers' is it.
To me, network interfaces are 'communication controllers' also. Did DEC have an accepted term to cover them all? In the PDP-11 era they just called them 'Asynchronous Communications Interfaces' and 'Synchronous Communications Interfaces' (and included Ethernet in the latter :-).
So maybe something like 'DEC Serial Interfaces', with two different sets of sub-categories:
  • DEC Asynchronous Serial Interfaces, DEC Synchronous Serial Interfaces
  • UNIBUS Serial Interfaces, QBUS Serial Interfaces, etc
and all pages go into two categories. (The alternative is to have N^2 categories - 'QBUS Asynchronous Serial Interfaces', etc - and pages only go into one; but previous discussion on a similar question - see here - seemed to agree that it's better to have fewer tiny categories, and double-categorize articles.) Jnc (talk) 15:17, 15 August 2022 (CEST)
It is "Communication Controllers" or "Communication Options" in several DEC publications (from my personal VAX history) I know and "Ethernet" has got its own section under that as well as "Asynchronous Serial Interfaces" and "Synchronous Serial Interfaces". I don't really know whether the bus type (or non-bus) matters that much as to separate by that criterion. Synchronous and asynchronous interfaces are so different that I would not like to put those together.
I don't mind putting pages into multiple categories; on the contrary I found that helpful on several occasions - you (I) have it easier to find something you're looking for. Vaxorcist (talk) 19:05, 15 August 2022 (CEST)
Ah; like I said, I can see 'Communication Controllers' including both serial lines and network interfaces - which your DEC books do also. So I think we should have a Category:DEC Serial Interfaces to put just all the synchronous and asynchronous interfaces in. (Do note that for us, Category:DEC Network Interfaces doesn't include just Ethernet, it also includes both Computer Interconnect and 1822 interfaces.)
Is there any use having a Category:DEC Communication Controllers super-category, which includes the network interface and serial interface categories, or should those just go straight to Category:DEC Peripherals?
I agree that synchronous and asynchronous interfaces should no longer be lumped in together; I will set up Category:DEC Asynchronous Serial Interfaces and Category:DEC Synchronous Serial Interfaces, and start pitting things into them.
So I guess the only other question left is whether to have a Category:DEC Non-bus Serial Interfaces ('Non-bus' is clunky, but so is 'Busless'; I wonder if there is a better word), or just put them in the 'DEC Serial Interfaces' category? Jnc (talk) 21:08, 15 August 2022 (CEST)
So. for the moment, I have put Category:DEC Serial Interfaces directly in Category:DEC Peripherals, but if we decide to add a Category:DEC Communication Controllers super-category, it will be easy to move it there.
I have put most of the synchronous interfaces in the new Category:DEC Synchronous Serial Interfaces, and will do the asynchronous ones tomorrow. Jnc (talk) 23:15, 15 August 2022 (CEST)
Ideas for the 'busless' category (which, on reflection, would be useful to have, but not necessary) name: 'optional' (because it's an option that has a specific place into which it plugs, 'direct' (not great; I was trying to indicate that it attaches 'directly' to the host CPU).
It turns out that there are probably some serial interfaces for machines before the PDP-5 that belong in this category: before the PDP-5, DEC machines did not have I/O buses; each device had a slot specially wired for it. Jnc (talk) 02:34, 16 August 2022 (CEST)
Having heard nothing, I went ahead and set up Category:DEC Optional Serial Interfaces; if we come up with a better name, it will be easy to move it.
I didn't set up a Category:DEC Communication Controllers super-category, as there didn't seem to be much point to one, but if people think it would be useful, it will be easy to add. Jnc (talk) 20:53, 16 August 2022 (CEST)