[OSM-dev] Server-side data validation

Eugene Alvin Villar seav80 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 14 01:13:38 BST 2012


On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 6:13 AM, Paweł Paprota <ppawel at fastmail.fm> wrote:
> Not sure if I agree here... as I mentioned before, looking long-term I
> would look at this more carefully. Think about Wikipedia for example -
> why did they introduce page locking, "citation needed", disputes at some
> point? I imagine it was because Wikipedia got so popular that quality
> (of core data in particular) became a critical factor.

Actually, aside from the infrastructure-level features like page
locking and user banning (and OSM does have a means for banning
users), MediaWiki (the software that runs Wikipedia) does not do any
validation at all on the text that you enter. It will not complain if
you forgot to close a table tag or forget to add a citation, etc. What
you might get when you save the page is a badly formatted page, just
as OSM may result into a badly rendered map image.

The "citation needed" you give as an example is roughly analogous to
the "FIXME" tag we have in OSM. The "citation needed" is just an
arbitrary template code that the Wikipedians have agreed to add to the
page to indicate something that needs attention in the future, in the
same way that "FIXME" is an arbitrary tag that the OSM mappers have
agreed to add to objects to indicate something that needs attention in
the future. Both MediaWiki and the OSM API do not care what this
template code is or that tag is.

So using Wikipedia as an example, OSM actually already embodies the
"wikiness" of Wikipedia.



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