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

Dave Stubbs osm.list at randomjunk.co.uk
Tue Feb 12 11:19:21 GMT 2008

2008/2/12 Stefan Keller <sfkeller at gmail.com>:
> 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.

Even XML allows significantly more than that -- pretty much anything
but whitespace [1], with a ":" as namespace delimiter.
So insist all you like, but personally I think making people handle
UTF-8 nicely is probably a good thing given the number of values that
will rely on it heavily anyway. Most reasonable programming
environments have decent unicode support these days, and certainly
every XML parser that isn't a hack.


[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/REC-xml-20060816/#charsets

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