[openstreetmap-website] New site lost the ability to link to visible bboxes on the map (#653)

migurski notifications at github.com
Wed Dec 11 17:20:40 UTC 2013

Thanks for the further explanation. 

Have you looked at the past server logs at all, to see if this is a feature people used with any degree of regularity? If it's just me then I accept that I've got a weird use-case, but if there were dozens of community members all using the box then I would imagine that keeping a useful feature with no UI implications would be an obvious win, in the absence of a consensus on the purpose or audience of the site. 

Regarding the slippery slope, you're giving a pretty textbook example of the fallacy in action by not arguing for why people might start asking for full-on My Maps functionality. From my perspective, the box had been there for a long time and led to no harmful outcomes, so I don't really share your worry about its dangerous side effects. 

On the other hand, I'm also not one of the people on the website firing line, so I appreciate the feedback and can find another way to pre-viz boxes for metro.teczno.com. 


michal migurski http://mike.teczno.com

> On Dec 11, 2013, at 1:02 AM, Tom Hughes <notifications at github.com> wrote:
> So I'm happy for other people to chip in if they have different opinions and if the consensus of the developers is that we should bring this back then fine.
> My concern, other than the cost of maintaining a feature we no longer have any need for ourselves, and of setting a precedent in terms of being unable to remove internal features that we no longer need because externals parties have chosen to rely on the, is that it's something of a slippery slope.
> Basically I see this as heading towards the whole debate about the target audience of the web site and whether we want to provide an end user mapping service that lets people do things like overlay stuff on the map etc. Here's part of what I wrote in an email to @rjw62 about this last night:
> My issue with this change is that it is aimed at a use case that it has generally been our policy not to support - using the web site as an end user destination by starting down the road of Google My Maps style functionality that allows the overlaying of non-OSM things on the map.
> Yes I know this is just a box, but that's the start of the slippery slope and once we have that why not lines, or points, or geojson files, or anything else.
> The fact that people were able to do it before by reverse engineering an internal implementation detail is not, in my mind, a good argument for continuing to allow it as we never intended people to do that nor did we consciously advertise or promote that.
> Unfortunately the way of OSM is that once one person figures it out they're quite likely to mention it in the wiki without the people doing the code ever knowing.
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