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)

Split QBUS/UNIBUS serial cats into sync/async?

So I'm wonder whether the last category re-org (which added Category:DEC Asynchronous Serial Interfaces and Category:DEC Synchronous Serial Interfaces, and tagged all serial interfaces with one of them, as well as one of Category:QBUS Serial Interfaces, Category:UNIBUS Serial Interfaces, etc) was really the right way to go.

The issue for me is not so much that all serial interface article have to have two tags, as simply that this serial interface category structure just isn't good for finding some 'natural groups' of serial interfaces. Finding relevant articles is the whole point of the category system - but the current serial interface category structure just isn't very good for finding, say, 'QBUS synchronous interfaces'.

So I'm thinking of setting up 4 new categories ('QBUS synchronous interfaces', etc), and moving all the articles into them. Those 4 categories can then each be included in the two appropriate super-categories ('QBUS' and 'synchronous', for that one). Comments? Jnc (talk) 04:22, 13 February 2023 (CET)

Hmm; no response. Well, that's not a problem, it's not really that big a deal. I probably am going to go ahead and do this; it's a fair amount of work, and not much gain, but the proposed system will be better than the existing one, albeit only slightly. Jnc (talk) 11:30, 15 February 2023 (CET)