[OSM-dev] Make Nominatim more dev friendly

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Feb 1 23:14:59 UTC 2017


   I'm not a Nominatim developer but I've followed Nominatim development
and issues for a while. One thing that contributes to the impression
that "pull requests/issues are ignored" is that Nominatim aims to be a
good, or at least a functioning, geocoder for the whole planet.
Contributors (understandably - that's how Open Source works) often
scratch their own itch, they find a problem with Spanish addresses and
submit a fix - but they don't notice (or care) that it breaks geocoding
elsewhere (for example https://trac.openstreetmap.org/ticket/4895 where
someone adds stop words).

It is then the role of the Nominatim developers to think about the
effects the contributor might have been missing, and tell him or her
"sorry, but that doesn't work for us".

This is actually good and important - it may look unfriendly to you
(albeit there's nothing unfriendly in the ticket I quoted) but in fact
it ensures that Nominatim doesn't break for some country once a week.

> Unfortunately there's not much I can do about it apart
> from pointing the problems to wider audience.

You said you're a developer, have you actually tried to participate in
the Nominatim devlopment?

> [4] - https://github.com/twain47/Nominatim/issues/467

Are you the user "sanitas2" from this issue? I've read through it and I
must say that I find the reaction of the developers absolutely
understandable. I don't think you have been helpful, respectful, or
polite in that issue.

> Anyway, I think the solutions to the problems are quite obvious. How can I convince someone to make the project open and friendly to new collaborators?

I think this public claim that the current developers ignore "obvious
solutions" won't do much good to improve their enthusiasm. What is your
suggestion? Chuck out the "unfriendly" developers and replace them with
whom? Or force the developers to spend more of their spare time trying
to understand your issue?

Can you point me to a good pull request that you have submitted and that
was ignored/rejected even though it didn't break anything?


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

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