[OSM-talk] Users, contributors and developers
steve at asklater.com
Fri Apr 27 00:06:46 BST 2007
On 26 Apr 2007, at 13:57, Frederik Ramm wrote:
>> Free text should not be allowed for well structured keys, any
>> extra types should be added to the documentation first before been
>> allowed in
>> the map data?
> The spirit in this project is to let the community decide. We spent
> about 4 hours one night at Essen talking to Steve about "triple
> tags", i.e. not having key=value but something like
> namespace:key=value. Steve refused to get into details of how what he
> called "the third database column" should be used; we laid out the
> different concepts, outlining that a "subkey" is something completely
> different from a "namespace", and that use of that third column will
> depend very heavily on how it is called. Steve, from experience,
> didn't want to make any rules the community must then follow - or at
> least, not more than absolutely necessary.
It wasn't just me, but I didn't see why calling it
namespace:key=value was different to key=value:type. But then I went
to spain and it seems that the language was the issue eg 'english
name foo street' becomes 'name foo street, english'. Now I just
wanted people to be able to have some third attribute, I don't super
mind what it's called. I came away super frustrated that we couldn't
even agree having it was a good idea.
> There are advantages to both ways of dealing with it. Other projects
> have spent their first years hammering out a list of allowable tags,
> highway types, features and so on, only to find that the list
> wouldn't work for Japan or something like that. We do not have such a
> list; we have utter chaos, and the burden of doing meaningful
> classification has been shifted from those who write the servers and
> those who enter data to those who actually want to do something with
> the data ("hm, gibble=gobble, how should I render that"). There can
> never be a full list of existing tags because the moment you create
> the list it may already be out of date. It may be a programmer's
> nightmare but it helped us to get off the ground quickly. And while
> there are issues (last I counted there were about 1,500 different
> values for the "highway" tag in use in Germany alone), it works
> surprisingly well.
Those last four words are the most important bit :-)
I think 'chaos' is a little stretched. The idea of sitting around for
a few years deciding on tags before we do anything struck me then, as
now, as just not an idea that was going to fly.
I disagree that the burden has shifted on end-data-users. There is
strong community pressure to tag your stuff 'right'. Other people
will fix it for you if you do it 'wrong' (I have fixed lots of broken
tags) and it won't show up on the map.
SteveC | steve at asklater.com | http://www.asklater.com/steve/
More information about the talk