[OSM-dev] [Marble-devel] NOTICE: gazetteer.osm.org being retired

Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason avarab at gmail.com
Thu Sep 2 16:20:24 BST 2010

On Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 15:00, Chris Browet <cbro at semperpax.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 16:39, Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason <avarab at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> On Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 13:26, Chris Browet <cbro at semperpax.com> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> If you want to use an OSM service in one of your applications, then I
>> >> would suggest firstly, and most importantly, that the application
>> >> doesn't have a *.openstreetmap.org URL embedded anywhere in the code.
>> >
>> > Come on. Does that mean that we cannot use "www.openstreetmap.org/api"
>> > to
>> > update the database?
>> Well, in the context of stable OS releases that distribute programs
>> like Merkaartor the API is pretty much *guaranteed* to break. An
>> Ubuntu LTS release is 5 years, Red Hat and Debian have something
>> similar. That's a lot less time than the entire 0.5 -> 0.6 transition
>> took.
> Sure, but again, LTS is for business, and I don't see a business using
> Merkaartor ;-)
> And the 0.5 -> 0.6 was announced, what, 6 months in advance? With
> discussions and plannification over 1 year...

It really doesn't matter in this context how long it was planned
for. With API 0.6 we didn't have full editor support until relatively
shortly before the deployment (actually only proper support long after

Any distro that took a snapshot of an OSM editor a few months before
the switchover for its stable release would have ended up with an
editor that didn't work anymore.

As long as our API transitions are shorter than major distro releases
(i.e. shorter than 6months - 2 years or so) this sort of thing is
bound to happen.

But there's ways to mitigate that, from an earlier E-Mail you wrote:

> Now, name search on 0.16.x which is going to be included in the
> newest Fedora and Debian won't work :-(

Have you tried to contact upstream about this? This sounds like
something that they'd be willing to patch even in a stable
release. It's a very important feature (in a relatively
unimportant[1]. program) that won't work *at all*. Aren't they willing
to patch that?

> You'd want me to spend $12 a day to provide geolocalisation for an
> OSM editor (if you didn't read the thread, I remind you I'm speaking
> of Merkaartor)!!??

What sort of crazy hosting costs $360 per month (asking Nic Roets)? I
bet you could host basic redirection services on a 512 Linode for
$20/month. Possibly even a whole nominatim instance (I don't know its
resource demands).

Anyway, just pointing the service to your own domain costs next to
nothing. And that seems like a very basic precaution that programs
like Merkaartor should take so they can deal with cases like these.

Have fun.

1. Unimportant in the context of the OS, i.e. it's not like Merkaartor
   is glibc here

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