[OSM-dev] Reverts from the woodpeck_repair account

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Jan 2 17:12:06 GMT 2013


> Not ignore it - for sure there needs to be a conversation with the
> author of the original changeset so that it is clear that such large
> changes should not happen without consultation.

As I said - this would ideally make the author of the changeset 
understand that he made a mistake, and ideally he wouldn't do it again, 
but the next day you'd have someone else believing that they do 
something good by changing 100,000 objects from one set of tags to another.

> In this specific case, what is the value of reverting other than making
> a point that people should not be doing such edits?

I am not sure if there is a value other than making this point (only a 
proper discussion would have been able to establish that), but making 
this point is reason enough.

"This specific case" consisted of a number of changesets where the 
author seemingly went through the list of "deprecated tags" and did 
*exactly* what the big banner at the top of the list told him not to do. 
It says that if you make a mass-edit without prior discussion then it 
will be reverted, and that's what we did.

If we *really* wanted to mass-change a "deprecated" feature into 
something else, we could do that very effectively on the database 
servers themselves, but we don't.

> Is the value greater
> than the cost paid in the long term by polluting the database and
> potentially discouraging people from editing like this in the future?

Yes, definitely, because for every mass edit where you say "I don't 
think this is too bad" there will be five others where a baby has been 
thrown out with the bathwater - and allowing outright policy violations 
for "those that make sense" means we'll have even more of those that don't.

Changing thousands of objects around the world with a script is simply 
not something that you can decide for yourself and execute without 
talking to anybody first because you are very likely to make mistakes.

The concept of "deprecated tags" is problematic. I have already asked 
the maintainer of keepright.at to stop marking them as "errors" and make 
them warnings instead, which he has thankfully agreed to do.

There might indeed be situations where a mass edit makes sense but such 
edits may have wide-ranging consequences and they absolutely must be 
widely discussed before, no matter how well-intended they are.

Pieren said that the specific "highway=ford" edit was discussed before 
but I think it has already been pointed out that this is wrong; 
discussing a new tag is not the same as discussing a mass edit to 
convert old tags.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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