Our video system names have to do a lot.
First, they must identify a system at a glance, not only to the system owner, but also to other participants in a conference, to people who are trying to locate suitable sites when setting up conferences, and to MN.IT network operations.
Second, MN.IT uses the names as a mechanism for sorting and grouping the systems in listings. This sorting and grouping not only helps people who are trying to locate sites, but also provides a basis for statistics and for MN.IT to assign authorizations.
We realize that it would be friendlier to allow site names like "Fred's Desk," but that doesn't tell us - or anyone else - anything about the system. We also run into the problem if Fred has more than one system or we have more than one Fred.
Our system names have this structure:
CUST ROOMTYPE ROOM CITY
That is, a customer identifier, a (single) space, a room type identifier, a (single) space, a room identifier, a (single) space, and a city name. All text in the CUST and CITY components is by convention in lowercase to improve readability, the text in the ROOM IDENTIFIER part retains the case that it was entered in. The total name length is limited to 50 characters.
We use abbreviations to save space. If you follow the "Info" link in the Video White Pages for a room, that page expands all abbreviations. The CUST and CITY abbreviations are the same ones that we use for network devices such as routers.
This part identifies a customer. Some common ones are:
For counties, we create a composite customer identifier of the form:
Punctuation and spaces are removed from the county names. They are thus grouped together in customer lists. Examples are:
For K-12 sites, we create a composite customer identifier of the form:
Punctuation and spaces are removed from the district names. They are thus grouped together in customer lists. Examples are:
Higher education sites are similarly grouped under their consortium abbreviation. Examples are:
The list of college and campus names can be found in the Higher Education List.
Finally, the special customer "peer" is used for all peering points and the special customer "offnet" is used for all off-network sites.
The Roomtype and Room combination identify the system that the name represents. It must be unique within the (customer, city) pair in the first three characters. The Roomtype will be one of these categories:
|category||room type||Room field usage|
|gateway to another network||g||number|
|office system||o||free form|
|portable unit that moves among rooms||p||number|
|room||r or rm||free form|
|training room||t||free form|
Thus, if the name is:
metnet-ncc f 2 bloomington
it names the second system in a codec farm at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, while
comet-ucr p 1 rochester
names a portable at UCR in Rochester.
The codec farm, gateway, and portable category types normally have a Room portion that is a simple number.
The courtoom, office system, room, and training room categories have more free form entry of Room information. While it can be entered at anything, the main point is that the room information be meaningful to people at the site. In particular, if someone (who is not familiar with the building) asks at the main information desk for the room by this name, they will be able to find the room.
Names can be used and, in many cases, the room name is more useful than the room number. More examples:
If the same customer has more than one building in a city, the room number itself may not be enough to identify the system. In those cases, the building name or address can be added. Examples:
This part of the system name is quite flexible. The main consideration is that it should be meaningful to both the customers within that building and to customers at other systems that want to include it in conferences.
In some cases the room name is not relevant. In those cases, a "-" can be used.
This part identifies a city. Examples are:
Sites within St Paul (and, in some cases, Minneapolis), can be referred to by building name or address. For example, "cob" is used for Centennial Office Building in St Paul. Again, see the expansion for more information.