[Tagging] Facts and opinions

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Mon Jan 7 22:31:04 UTC 2019

On Mon, Jan 7, 2019 at 10:13 AM Bryan Housel <bhousel at gmail.com> wrote:
> And on “the wiki”, I have basically given up on the OSM wiki because it contains so much wrong information and opinion, and I’m tired of having my edits reverted.

That's kind of upsetting. Asking as a near-outsider, do you suspect
that your edits are being shut down by some 'inner circle'? The
'closed inner circle' problem is what made me give up on Wikipedia - I
found that in the areas where I actually know something, all that the
privileged editors would accept was trivial changes like the
correction of spelling or grammatical errors. Or is it simply that
your information gets stomped on by legions of the clueless or

Both are disturbing, but the two problems would have very different
solutions. For the former, the only solution is political. For the
latter, perhaps edits would be more robust if expressed factually:
"The rule that iD currently assumes is: ..." rather than "the tag must
be used in THIS fashion." Descriptive rather than prescriptive
language tends to excite less the desire to wipe it out.

I will admit that I don't wikify nearly enough - and it's partly my
bad experience with Wikipedia that puts me off it. I just want to know
what I'm in for if I decide to mend my ways and explain more of what I

> Anyway hope that clears up some of the confusion. If not - I’m sure we’ll discuss these exact same issue again here in another 9 months anyway.

There are always new faces, even for the stale old arguments.
Sometimes they come with new insights, sometimes we simply have to
tread the same ground because there are people who haven't been here
before who have to be guided. None of us knows how to map the world,
and as we come closer to figuring that out, we wind up having to talk
things to death. Over and over. And I don't know a better way to do it
- gradually come closer to consensus. But yes, it's infuriating when
it happens.

You - the iD developers - are in a uniquely thankless position because
your application is so often the first thing a newcomer sees when
trying to contribute to the map. The decisions you make in the
templates become the newcomers' impression of "how things must be
done" - whether a genuine consensus exists or not. Which means that
everyone who has an opinion about tagging is eager to tell you that
you're doing it all wrong, and you have to guess as best you can what
consensus might eventually emerge.

So, let me thank you for braving that particular combat zone. Yeah,
"you're doing it all wrong." :-) But you're doing it, which is more
than I'm able or willing to take on.

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