[Tagging] Discussion about Multivalued Keys

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Wed Jan 27 17:58:02 UTC 2016

A fundamental choice is whether we fix this in the Key domain or in the
Value domain. 

Personally I tend towards the Key domain, as there are too many issues
with "semicolon syntax" which compromise its suitability for the longer
term. For example, the maximum length is going to be a problem sooner or
later, and the low appetite for defining an "escape" mechanism to allow
the delimiter to be included in the data itself. Also its extensibility
towards "data structures" is much less obvious than a key-based

Excluding the argument that "that's the way it is now, why change", are
there any arguments in favour of a value-based approach? If we were
looking at this problem as if we were designing OSM on a clean
whiteboard, what reasons are there to say that that the "multivalued
keys" problem is best addressed in the Value domain? 


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