DSA Terminology

Rich Brown richb.hanover at gmail.com
Sat Sep 10 04:59:22 PDT 2022

I got the following definitions from Arınç, I am taking the liberty of opening this to the entire list, so we can refine these definitions together. I include some questions in-line to clarify the definitions.

>>> As a start, certain terms have cropped up multiple times in this discussion. Could I ask for definitions for the following terms?
>>> Network:
> A network represents a group of computers communicating with each other.
	Are there other constraints for what comprises a network? For example, which of these would be considered to be "a network" in our DSA discussion?
	- Computers in the same subnet range 
	- Computers on the same VLAN 
	- Computers physically attached to a switch or bridge (perhaps on different subnets) 
	- Are there other synonyms for "network"?

>>> Network Interface:
> A network interface is the point of interconnection, implemented on the software, between computers.

	- I had earlier written "... physical connections that convey bits/frames to other computers ... such as individual Ethernet switch ports, wireless radios, USB networking devices, VLANs, or virtual ethernets." 
	- How much of this is correct? What should be added or removed?
	- What about bridges, tunnels, alias interfaces - include or exclude them? Why?
	- Must a network interface to be "implemented in software"? 
	- Or do you mean that the network interface is the "software representation" of a physical connection?

>>> Interface:
> Short for network interface.
	- Can we *always* treat this as a synonym for "network interface"?

>>> Device:
> Another term for network interface, used a lot on Linux kernel development.
	- Can we *always* treat this as a synonym for "network interface"?

>>> Netdev:
> A mailing list for all network-related Linux stuff. https://docs.kernel.org/process/maintainer-netdev.html#what-is-netdev
	- Is "netdev" used commonly in DSA/OpenWrt as a formal term?
	- If not (and if we need to rename something in config files), could the term "netdev" provide a new word that isn't ambiguous?


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