DSA Terminology

Arınç ÜNAL arinc.unal at arinc9.com
Sat Sep 10 06:47:21 PDT 2022

On 10.09.2022 14:59, Rich Brown wrote:
> 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

That's a network.

> 	- Computers on the same VLAN

That's a network.

> 	- Computers physically attached to a switch or bridge (perhaps on different subnets)

That'd be multiple networks but I guess that's technically a single 
network since computers on different subnets can still communicate with 
each other at the second layer.

The means of delivering data in between (switch, bridge etc.) is also 
expected on the examples above.

> 	- Are there other synonyms for "network"?

I don't believe so.

>>>> 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"?

That's what a network interface is. It's a software term.

> 	- Or do you mean that the network interface is the "software representation" of a physical connection?

Software representation of interconnection, doesn't have to be physical.

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

I believe so.

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

No. Outside of Linux driver development, I don't see this widely used in 
computer networking software.

>>>> 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?

I don't understand what you're getting at?


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