Table Of Contents
Table Of Contents

Appendix: Author’s Guide

Overview

This chapter is intended for authors and contributors of this INET Developer’s Guide, and covers the guidelines for deciding what type of content is appropriate for this Guide and what is not.

The main guiding principle is to avoid redundancy and duplication of information with other pieces of documentation, namely:

  • Standards documents (RFCs, IEEE specifications, etc.) that describe protocols that INET modules implement;
  • INET User’s Guide, which is intended for users who are interested in assembling simulations using the components provided by INET;
  • INET Framework Reference, directly generated from NED and MSG comments by OMNeT++ documentation generator;
  • Showcases, tutorials and simulation examples (showcases/, tutorials/ and examples/ folders in the INET project)

Why is duplication to be avoided? Multiple reasons:

  • It is a waste of our reader’s time they have to skip information they have already seen elsewhere
  • The text can easily get out of date as the INET Framework evolves
  • It is extra effort for maintainers to keep all copies up to date

Guidelines

Do Not Repeat the Standard

When describing a module that implements protocol X, do not go into lengths explaining what protocol X does and how it works, because that is appropriately (and usually, much better) explained in the specification or books on protocol X. It is OK to summarize the protocol’s goal and principles in a short paragraph though.

In particular, do not describe the format of the protocol messages. It surely looks nice and takes up a lot of space, but the same information can probably be found in a myriad places all over the internet.

Do Not Repeat NED Documentation

Things like module parameters, gate names, emitted signals and collected statistics are appropriately and formally part of the NED definitions, and there is no need to duplicate that information in this Guide.

Detailed information on the module, such as usage details and the list of implemented standards should be covered in the module’s NED documentation, not in this Guide.

Do Not Repeat C++ Documentation

Describing every minute detail of C++ classes, methods, arguments are expected to be appropriately present in their doxygen documentation.

What then?

Concentrate on giving a “big picture” of the implementation: what it is generally capable of, how the parts fit together, how to use the provided APIs, what were the main design decisions, etc. Give simple yet meaningful examples and just enough information about the API that after a quick read, users can “bootstrap” into implementing their own protocols and applications. If they have questions afterwards, they will/should refer to the C++ documentation.