[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - Discouraging the use of deprecated schemes

Bert -Araali- Van Opstal bert.araali.afritastic at gmail.com
Sun Mar 21 16:57:44 UTC 2021

Many of us welcome your views Sören, it shows OSM is alive and important 
for the younger generation. And as we might say, alive and kicking.
I can only support what has been said in this threat, you are kicking 
and try to enforce the degradation of one of the core values of OSM.
In me, it ignites exactly the opposite of what you try to achieve. 
Invites me to go even another step further as Christoph already mentioned.

The warning message which we show at the top of "deprecated" tags is to 
dominant.  It should be removed.  In essence, deprecation, banning is 
all contra-productive when it comes to improving tagging and achieving 
consensus, let us work together instead of against each other.  Not 
emphasize that practices and tactics exist that go against core OSM 
values as free and open and community engagement, incite activities and 
give people ideas how to undermine them.

A description can be given with a link to the deprecation wiki page in 
the "When to use" or "Usage" section.  The deprecation page describes 
very well how it should be handled.  I would also add to the deprecation 
wiki page to include "Organised Editing Guidelines" as we see more and 
more deprecation policies emerging by mass, not automated editing.

We should also remove it from the proposal process.  Deprecation, and 
the process of how to determine if the community supports the 
deprecation of a certain tag, should not be promoted by advocating it 
through Organised Mass or (semi)Automated edits.  But it comes to those 
extremes in many proposals we see today. So we should ban it from the 
proposal process.
This might mean that you will see during prolonged periods duplicate and 
competing tagging schemes, but I personally see no problem in that.  
Neither for data consumers or renderers, they decide independently what 
they render, what and how they process our data.
For editors this might be a different issue, as they might prefer one 
tagging scheme above another.  However, we should be happy that at least 
JOSM allows us to use our own presets, iD and others I don't know.

If you understand and support the importance of these core values, 
please change your proposal.


Bert Araali

On 21/03/2021 17:10, Christoph Hormann wrote:
> On Sunday 21 March 2021, Frederik Ramm wrote:
>> This tagging list and the whole wiki voting system are good enough to
>> make (weak) recommendations, but they are not good enough to "highly
>> discourage" anything or make binding decisions.
> I would go a step further even - the whole tagging proposal process is
> primarily useful to gather feedback on the merits and the issues of
> certain tagging ideas.  The main gain of going through a proposal
> process is to gather such feedback.  And the 'voting' as part of the
> proposal process is meant to gauge if there is consensus among those
> engaging in the process that the feedback received has been adequately
> taken into account.   It has never been intended to lead to a decision
> that is in any way binding to anyone.
> What this proposal tries to do is essentially to abolish the way we
> develop tagging in OSM from within, meaning that using the current
> processes we have (with all the flaws they evidently have as partly
> pointed out by Frederik) it tries to gather support for putting an axe
> to the very core of these processes (and without as you might notice
> any vision for a new, more centralized and authoritarian system of
> tagging being presented).
> The principal issues this raises aside - as Mateusz points out on the
> wiki there is not even a rationale presented as to why the author
> thinks this is a good idea beneficial for OpenStreetMap as a whole
> (where the majority of people don't speak English and will not
> participate in any proposal processes).
> Practically of course a success of this proposal (as unlikely and
> formally questionable it might be) would probably have the opposite
> effect of what is intended.  It would make the wiki less meaningful as
> a source of information on the actual meaning of tags in the OSM
> database (i.e. how tags are actually used as opposed to how some people
> think tags should be used) and would turn it even more into a echo
> chamber platform for a small subset of the OSM community largely
> detatched from the mapping practice of the larger international
> community.
> Deprecation in our current open tagging system works as simple as this:
> If there is consensus in the mapper community that a certain tag is not
> to be used any more it will - without the need for any further
> enforcement or discouragement - go out of use over time.  And that can
> then correctly be documented on the wiki.  We have plently of cases
> where this can be seen to work quite well (landuse=farm, highway=ford,
> natural=moor just to name a few).
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