[OSM-dev] Reading OSM History dumps

Scott Crosby scrosby at cs.rice.edu
Mon Aug 23 15:29:33 BST 2010

On Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 8:39 AM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> Scott Crosby wrote:
>> My idea is that we assume that a given snapshot of the database at a
>> given changeset number is unique.
> I don't know if that breaks your whole edifice but the above assumption is
> false; changesets are not generally applied in a transaction so at any one
> time, hundreds of changesets may be open and may, during the course of their
> lifetime, modify the same objects.

Non-atomic changesets are both a fatal problem in designing and
constructing a history and at the same time, irrelevant.

Creating a true history is impossible. The information about the
concurrent updates across different non-atomic changesets is
presumably lost.

This is not actually a problem. To present a history, all that is
needed is to define *an* ordering that is usefully consistent with the
OSM database history. Pretending changsets are atomic lets me
define/construct one such ordering, using changeset numbers or ending
timestamps. Peter's design seems to make a similar assumption about
atomicity of changesets.  Other orderings, such ignoring changeset
numbers entirely and using timestamps of entity changes would have
their own tradeoffs.


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