[OSM-dev] Restrict key names on order to retain reusability of OSM

Andy Robinson (blackadder) blackadderajr at googlemail.com
Tue Feb 12 11:11:10 GMT 2008

Stefan Keller [mailto:sfkeller at gmail.com] wrote:
>Sent: 12 February 2008 10:53 AM
>To: Andy Robinson (blackadder)
>Cc: dev at openstreetmap.org
>Subject: Re: [OSM-dev] Restrict key names on order to retain reusability of
>GML/XML is *not* the issue, you know that:
>It's almost any application outside OSM database.
>It's about reusability and consistency!
>I love the approach of key-value pairs (and I like beers too... ;->).
>I agree with Martijn that before all, spaces must be kept out.
>I agree too with Frederik: Colons can be included as namespace delimiters.
>Namespace, tags and keys reminds us, that OSM is a database and
>*not* a Wiki on an island (whereas I'm loving Wikis used as they are)!
>So I'm sorry, guys, but I have to insist:
>I propose distinctly to restrict key names (elemement, tag) to the set
>'aAbBcCdDeEfFgGhHiIjJkKlLmMnNoOpPqQrRsStTuUvVwWxXyYzZ_', now
>plus colon as namespace delimiter, allowed once and not at the beginning or
>the end.

Sorry, but you can't insist on anything. If the project as a whole wanted to
restrict the data entry to predetermined formats it would have done that
from the outset. We now have a huge amount of data that doesn't fit your
suggestion and so there really is no chance that it will ever conform to
your suggestion. I don't hold the argument that unless the data is in a
prescribed format it can't be used. It certainly can be used if the tools
are smart. 



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