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

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Feb 13 20:19:16 GMT 2008


>    I thought this was the OSM-developers list.

Yes, and one of the most important groups of people that OSM
developers cater to is the mappers. We're not exactly laying out a red
carpet for them but we should, because is is their data that makes
everything else possible. 

So when someone comes along and says that we need to restrict the
mappers' freedom he had better give good reasons for this. I must
admit that either you haven't given good reasons or I didn't
understand them; what, exactly, is it that cannot be done because of
UTF-8 in the keys? 

The OSM community, including the developers, is usually very helpful
and very pragmatic. Had you come saying "look, I'd like to do this but
I can't because there's UTF-8 in the keys, has anyone had a similar
problem or does anyone have an idea how to solve it?", I'm sure you
would have found support. Had you come saying "look, I've got this
cool application that already does the following, and if we only did
this minor change then it could do even cooler things" then people
might have considered the proposal.

But you came lecturing to us, making urgent demands even, based on
perceived technical necessities that you failed to demonstrate. It's
as if someone showed up on the mailing list demanding that in the
future every OSM key must have three syllables because that makes it
easier to create Haikus from them.

To a certain degree, developers are rational enough to know when to
take advice even if it is offered in a condescending voice. But even
leaving aside the tone in which you offered your advice, you failed to
convince me that OSM would be a better place with a restricted set of


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00.09' E008°23.33'

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