[Tagging] Destination:street

Mark Bradley ethnicfoodisgreat at gmail.com
Mon Jan 23 18:44:08 UTC 2017

> Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 10:42:32 +0100
> From: Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl>
> To: tagging at openstreetmap.org
> Subject: Re: [Tagging] [Talk-us] destination:street
> On 2017-01-23 09:53, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:
> > sent from a phone
> >
> >> On 22 Jan 2017, at 22:18, Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl> wrote:
> >>
> >> Consumers who are not ready to handle multiple values in their data
> >> models can stop reading after the first value
> >
> > consumers unaware of multiple values in the same field will see all those multiple
> values together as just one value. Either you deal with multiple values (even in some
> basic way like splitting the string and throwing away most of it) or they will break the
> system for you. This means checking all values of all tags if they might have to be
> split.
> This subject has been discussed so many times in the past, over several years. It seems
> that OSM is incapable of moving forward. The current data model does not
> accommodate multi-valued attributes, and in the absence of leadership, many
> competing systems have been brought forward and come into use. None of them is
> perfect, none of them suit everybody.
> If the data model is to evolve to included MVAs with some kind of structured
> approach, choices have to be made and not everyone will be happy. That's the price of
> progress - you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.
> It's a complete waste of time to have yet another debate about the pro's and con's of
> semicolons vs suffixes and all the other possibilities, without having some kind of
> mechanism in place, and the will, to actually make a decision one way or the other.
> By the way, it wouldn't be the first time the data model has changed in a way that
> broke some data consumers. The IDs were extended from 32 bits to 64 bits. That
> meant all consumers needed to review their code and adapt to the change.
> //colin


As someone who has followed this mailing list for 2-1/2 years, I have come to the same conclusion.  Every time the pros and cons of a certain tag get debated, there is never a consensus!  Never!  Consequently the same issues get debated over and over.  What a waste of time and effort!

I'm aware of two conflicting theories about how OpenStreetMap should operate—one side says you have total freedom as to how to tag objects, and the other side says your work can be reverted if you don't conform to certain rules.  One side says the Wiki is only a guideline, but I keep hearing about mappers that rely on the Wiki for instructions (presumably because it is the closest thing to a how-to manual we have).  One group advocates following a certain process to get new tags "approved," which culminates in voting, and another group says that voting is meaningless.

I agree totally with Colin's assessment that what this project sorely lacks is leadership.  Without it, I see no end to the current process, with nothing ever being resolved, never moving forward.  It is getting tiring to follow this list.  There are great opinions discussed.  The people contributing to the list are obviously very intelligent.  Every angle of every issue is brought to light.  But in the end I'm not sure much is getting accomplished.

Count me as one of those that wishes OpenStreetMap were more structured.  As Colin said, choices have to be made, and not everyone will be happy.  Empower some folks to make decisions (after thoughtful deliberation), and enforce the decisions!  Just tell me how something should be tagged, and I'll follow it!  Without something like this, it seems like we are doomed to go around and around, forever and ever...



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