[OSM-dev] Designing a new OSM editor

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Thu Dec 20 18:03:14 GMT 2012

On Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 12:20 PM, Saman Bemel Benrud <samanpwbb at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> Along with Tom Macwright and John Firebaugh, I've been sprinting on iD work
> this week. Have a look at my early thoughts on improving the iD editor
> design. If anyone has feedback or additional resources to recommend, I'd
> love to hear more.

Here's my .02.

There are two reasons I use Josm:

1. Speed
2. Tools

Since there's already been a ton of focus by the iD team on speed, let
me focus on tools.

In Josm, if there's functionality I need, it's probably already
available as a plugin, and I have a list of plugins I love, including
the validator, the parallel way maker, and the arch maker (along with
many others).

It would be easy to think "We just need to port the features josm
users like to iD and then they'll be happy" but I think iD has an
opportunity to do something much better.

Josm is written in Java, which means plugins need to be written,
compiled, and then tested in separate steps.

But iD is written in Javascript, which is a modern scripting language,
so we should be able to treat it like any other scripting language,
and drop down into a shell/repl/command line and begin playing around.

This also means that plugins should be easy to write, so long as the
functionality is properly separated (ie use named functions, not
lambas, etc.)

This may sound very geeky, and it is, but plugins are what bring new
and exciting functionality.

In addition, as iD will be used as both a general purpose and
specialty editor, sometimes plugins may be written to do some simple

So I'd love to see this be something that's thought about during
development, with maybe a blog post on writing plugins for iD to get
folks like me started.

- Serge

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