[OSM-dev] Release candidate for OSM binary format is in osmosis trunk.

Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason avarab at gmail.com
Thu Sep 23 18:49:09 BST 2010

On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 23:50, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> I always viewed the Geofabrik extracts as a service to the community who
> build interesting things, or try out stuff - and who can also be counted on
> for a little bit of willingness to adapt to change, or add a little extra
> program to their toolchain if required.
> You're making it sound as if the Geofabrik extracts are meanwhile a staple
> ingredient of consumer-facing services ("just download gpsmid here and get
> your data from Geofabrik and you're good to go") - consumers who need to
> have things served on a silver platter and who cannot be bothered to install
> software or convert files or something. I'm not entirely comfortable with
> that.
> I think if you really are in a situation where you need a guaranteed 6 month
> notice period before anything changes, you should calculate some buffer on
> *your* side - e.g. you should definitely not assume that certain files will
> be at a certain place on a certain server all the time, but instead have
> some sort of directory that is under your control. You cannot burden
> Geofabrik - or any OSMer running something in his spare time - with keeping
> your application happy. Especially not if you only tell them about your
> application depending on them when they want to make a change!
> Having said that, I won't switch off the bz2 stuff tomorrow but I certainly
> think that I'd prefer to use Geofabrik resources to produce more extracts
> for more people than to keep things running smoothly for end users of an
> application somewhere. The Geofabrik download stuff is primarily intended to
> be low-level - a building block for members of our community, not a
> shrink-wrapped service for the world.

I use the geofabrik services and I must say I'm slightly irked at the
tone this discussion has taken. That you're providing these services
for free *at all* is not a given, and it's great that you continue to
do so.

If you dropped osm.bz2 tomorrow with zero warning I'd at most have to
download some file and add another osmosis command to some
shellscripts. I can't see how that could possibly be a big deal for
anyone, and hopefully the resources being freed up on your end by not
grinding through gigabytes of XML every day could be spent on
something more worthwhile as a result.

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