Category talk:Network service

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Category too generalEdit

This new category was apparently created to label computer-related application services on computer networks. But it appears too general to be a useful class, as anything on a computer network essentially represents a service of some kind, further it opens the idea that just about anything provided on the Internet would qualify as a service. We already have specific categories for various types of computer protocols and network features which seem more appropriate and specific. Network services exist in many contexts, not just computer networking. Kbrose (talk) 20:51, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

This category is explicitly about services, particularly user-visible services, that are provided on computer networks which have defined network protocols.
I agree that we have more specific categories for various user visible computer protocols, but this is a good umbrella for those.
Also note that the computer network category is too big, and it's part of other categories like 'telecommunications'.
I don't know what makes you think that other uses of the term 'network service's should be placed here, the category is defined by the network service article which implies absolutely no such thing.Teapeat (talk) 21:28, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Might I suggest adding "(computing) to the title, as in "Servers (computing)" and "Clients (computing)". Also, change the lede of the companion article. "In telecommunications, a network service is..." seems to invite things like 411 and 911 telephone services, even though the body of the article doesn't.
I must confess (as if I could hide it) that I did move a couple of articles here from the Servers category, because this seems like a more specific home for them. I think the Servers category is the one that is too broad — it includes hardware (generic and brand name), software (ditto), services, protocols, you name it. Even data centers.
However, I have to say I don't see much utility in categories because the likelihood of keeping them both pure reasonably complete seems very low. I too am apprehensive that people will start adding things like Google Maps and Yahoo Mail and Amazon S3 to this category, which to me are Internet Services, not Network Services like DNS and FTP. Maybe there should be a Network Services (cloud) category too? Joeldbenson (talk) 22:43, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
I certainly don't have a problem with renaming this category if people want to.
I think that google maps and even google mail might work in a subcategory, they probably do have a messaging protocol behind them, but not in this category itself. Also clouds might be a subcategory.
However having looked around I'm finding that this category is much better defined than, for example, the difference between category:computer networks and category:computer networking. They seem to be the same thing.Teapeat (talk) 23:40, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
I think if categories are well defined they will be maintained fairly cleanly in the long run.Teapeat (talk) 23:40, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Every data transfer on a network has a defined messaging protocol, otherwise the 'service' would be useless, in fact, could not even be defined as a service. So this specification is bogus. Looking at the list of pages already tagged with 'network service' it becomes clear that there is no real definition of this category. We have there even the World Wide Web, video on demand, online games, and even DNS software. I believe I removed the category from a page about teleconferencing; surely that doesn't even need a computer network. So the purported definition (above) is bogus. There is no real plan to this category and it's just an open invitation to anything about networking, for which we already have other poorly maintained categories. Adding another is no advantage. Kbrose (talk) 03:02, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
No actually, it isn't.
The purpose of the category is to cover the applications that networks support.
For example TCP is not an application, but has a well defined messaging protocol. That's a transport level protocol. That's not covered. Similarly there are media-layer protocols. They're not covered either. This is a category only for application layer stuff.Teapeat (talk) 19:18, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
WWW is an application level protocol. Video on demand, online games are application level.Teapeat (talk) 19:18, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

It seems that I originally misunderstood Teapeat's intention. From his statements above, I now gather that he sees this primarily as a collection of subcategories, sort of a leafless branch on the category tree meant to make the Computer Network category more tractable. So we would have (as an example):

Computer Network (category)
Network Services (category)
Application-layer Protocols (category)
Domain Name System (article)

So we wouldn't be adding another overly broad category, we'd be dividing out part of one that already exists. THAT SEEMS LIKE A REALLY GOOD IDEA (shouting intentional), and no harder to maintain than what we have now. To that end:

  • I added a Hatnote indicating articles should be moved to subcategories whenever possible
  • I removed the Email article from this category, because it's the main article for that subcategory, and I don't believe we want to list subcategory main articles.
  • Taking my own advice, I removed DNS from this category because it's in the Application-layer Protocols category which is a subcategory of this one (although we could and probably should have another discussion about what that category should be called and what belongs in it).

For now, that leaves Authentication server as the only page in this category that is not the main page of a potential subcategory. I'm sure we'll find others, maybe I'll look for some later. If we do, we should think about changing the name to Network services.   Joking aside, that does seem to be the usual practice — the category for Server (computing) is Servers (computing), etc.

Time will tell if it gets maintained or not.

I am also making some minor changes to the Network service article, and adding some initial thoughts to its talk page. Joeldbenson (talk) 14:57, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

DNS probably goes directly under network service; a network service is a network application, it's network application layer and up. But DNS-related protocol stuff could go under both DNS and Application layer protocol.
I just want to see that there is some well defined intention, plan, and effort in organizing and maintaining another category, rather than a whimsical random tagging of articles. Yes, please do remove the port number sections, they have no place there. Kbrose (talk) 20:22, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

But you've basically go the hang of it.Teapeat (talk) 19:18, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
(Actually DNS isn't a particularly good example, it's sort on the edge of application layer).Teapeat (talk) 19:20, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

I understand what the issue is with DNS — it's considered an application layer protocol/service because it uses TCP and/or UDP, but it gets used by them as well, and probably by IP too. Plus it's hierarchical, so the resolver on each device provides it as a service for applications on that device, and is at the same time a client of remote servers. I think of it as a core networking service. We could create a subcategory for it and things like DHCP and routing and so on, but I'm not ready to go that far yet. Joeldbenson (talk) 19:49, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

It's in the Application Layer because the realm of its data exchange is between application and application, not between host and host (Transport Layer), and no it does not get used by TCP or UDP, or any other level below, at least not in a simple stack. It is indeed a core networking service, since it maintains one of the two namespaces of the Internet. Kbrose (talk) 20:29, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
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