[Tagging] The wiki (was "Re: That stupid 'quarter' tag has been approved")

Steve Bennett stevagewp at gmail.com
Tue May 29 15:26:34 BST 2012

On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 9:27 PM, SomeoneElse
<lists at mail.atownsend.org.uk> wrote:
> Well, it's to "document" standards, not to "create" them.  If that's what
> you meant by "establish" then +1 to you too.
> The biggest problem the wiki has is that in some quarters editing it seems
> to have become an end in itself rather than a necessary evil to make sure
> that we're all singing off the same hymnsheet.  "Documenting" obscuring
> procedures that almost no-one follows helps no-one, as does "approving" tags
> when only a few people could be bothered to "vote".

Again, I'm surprised this discussion needs to be had, but there is
clearly very poor shared understanding of what the wiki is for and how
to use it. It seems obvious to me that the wiki is to document
*shared* understanding of mapping standards. You don't attempt to
change policy simply by making an edit - but editing the wiki is also
a legitimate part of building consensus for a change to policy.
(Provided you do it right...)

It's a pity that people who complain about "wiki-fiddlers" make no
distinction between people who put time and effort into keeping the
wiki up to date (and reflecting community norms), and, well, people
who cause chaos by editing.

> There's also a regular problem with "extrapolating from the local" - some
> wiki editors state something that may be true in their local area, but
> simply isn't worldwide.  Unless a comment of that sort is caveated with e.g.
> "In the Duchy of Grand Fenwick..." it's often confusing.

Yep. But to be honest, I think we vastly overestimate the extent to
which different communities actually map the same way. So every time
some little issue like roundabouts comes up on the mailing lists
there's this enormous shock: "you do *what* over there???"

(It's also very hard, if you're trying to document in the wiki, to
know what to extent the practice you're describing is a local,
regional, national, or international practice...)

> It got to be in its current state because someone (Monxton) rearranged a
> previous sprawling mess after discussion on talk-gb about how best to
> structure it - it hasn't been "invented, imposed and ignored" as a number of
> other pages have been.

Sure. But just think how many discussions have ended up achieving
nothing because of the dynamics of the mailing lists. Personally I
find it pretty hard to stay interested after about 30 posts on a
topic, and I'm probably not the only one. So the only people who stick
around to the death are probably those with the most extreme views.


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