[Tagging] Development of Tag Replacements (was: Feature Proposal - RFC - landuse bush)

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Thu Feb 4 10:27:45 UTC 2021


On 04.02.21 06:02, Stefan Tauner wrote:
> But let's suppose that we discuss this enough so that we get enough
> votes together. What then?

It's not a matter of votes. As you correctly say, this group here
doesn't decide what OSM does; it doesn't have the mandate for such
decisions, it cannot force anybody to do anything (and it should not).

Like any project of societal change, if we wanted to make wide-ranging
changes like that, we would first have to build a very convincing cause
- something that will make the average mapper say "mh, sounds like a
good idea, it will solve some problems that I have had too".

Then we'd have to devise a technical plan on how the change could be
implemented with minimal disruption to data consumers. (Personally, in
the past I've occasionally said "fuck data consumers, let's do what we
think is right and they have to adapt", and while I still sympathise
with that mappers-first approach, I now see that OSM itself would suffer
a lot, starting with every mailing list, support email address, and chat
being absolutely overflowing with questions of "why has the forest
suddenly gone in my flight simulator", and then tons of new signups
"repairing" the map by re-adding old tags so that things work again in
their setup... hence, ignoring the consumers would come back to haunt us.)

Then when we have the technical plan thought out, we'd have to start
campaigning, on two levels - one, getting the major software products
that work with OSM data like the editors, osm-carto etc., to support the
plan, and two, convincing mappers that the time has come for this great
new feature which will be available soon. This will require some
"project management" in the form of someone keeping track of which
software already supports the new stuff and which still needs to be
modified. And of course this will require the right combination of
carrot and stick - if you go to an editor writer and say "you have to do
this because we decided it" then that's practically a guarantee for them
to stubbornly ignore the issue and say "fine, then you can decide to
write an editor that supports it".

So I don't think change on that scale is impossible but it's a big
project, and it would require someone to commit to that, concentrate on
that, do a lot of actual work. It is much more than just writing a
proposal, getting 20 votes on it, and calling for the deprecation of
something or other. Most people just don't care enough to invest that
amount of work. Firing off a couple postings about how it would be nice
to have X is cheap.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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