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

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Mon Mar 22 16:22:29 UTC 2021


On 22.03.21 16:42, mail at marcos-martinez.net wrote:
> Hi Frederik, I couldn't disagree more. First of all because it is
> incoherent with nowadays reality. What you are saying is that there
> should be/are basically no enforceable tagging rules because I see they
> are being enforced from time to time. Enforceable in the sense of
> someone tagging against established consensus (whatever this is and
> however this is measured)


There can be established consensus.

But consensus cannot be established by calling for a vote on the tagging
list and assuming that whatever those 30 people say is then the
established consensus.

In fact, consensus in OSM is usually observed rather than polled. Lots
of people do something the same way for a long time, a consensus
evolves. As in your highway example; this is a tag that has never been
voted on.

But not: A couple people on the tagging list say that diaper changing
should now be tagged in some particular way, and suddenly this is a
project-wide consensus.

> How many voices are enough to be considered
> community consensus?

It is not just a question of how many. If I can get 100 people from the
city of Karlsruhe to decide on a community consensus for Karlsruhe then
that's a solid decision. Asking these 100 people from Karlsruhe to
decide on a community consensus for all of Germany would be a stretch.
Asking them to decide how things should be mapped in Ghana would be silly.

The voting method we use for tagging issues is extremely simple. It has
virtually no protection against fraud, it has no conflict of interest
rules, it doesn't ensure that the questions are asked in an unbiased
way, and so on and so on. This is all fine for a somewhat informal
process to come up with recommendations. It is not an iron-clad process
that can be used to make solid decisions about "strongly discouraging"

> Why is JOSM warning when it detects tags such as "is_in"? What if I like
> "is_in", so why does it bully me to not use it? 

A good editor will nudge you towards making useful contributions that
both you and the project at large are happy with; though it is the
editor writer's decision how exactly they do it.

> Anyway, who makes the
> rules in this project? Who invented the "any tag you like" paradigm and
> what evidence is there that the community supports this paradigm? Was
> there a vote for "any tag you like" 

In a way. The rule was there long before most people joined, so they
joined a project that had this rule out of their own free decision. They
could have joined another project instead ;)

> Taking into consideration there are millions of
> contributors worldwide, what sense does it make to have votes

Exactly. That's why our votes are not binding. Because those few of us
here on the list or on the wiki cannot possibly think that we make rules
for the millions of contributors worldwide. We can make recommendations.

> I challenge all of you to provide an short answer: In an ideal world, do
> you at least agree on the desirability to have a database which is
> consistent? Would you consider it positive if people voluntarily tagged
> in an aligned manner? Because if the answer is no than the whole
> discussion is pointless.

There will not be one consistent tagging system that works for the whole
planet. I think people will agree on some things and chose to go their
own paths in others, and that's ok.

> And a final reflection: If what has been claimed is true the real power
> of the project relies in the editors. If there is no rule except for the
> the tag use reflected in taginfo then controlling what enters the
> database is the key. Looks like instead of reading hundreds and
> thousands of mails on various lists it is more efficient to put your
> effort in implementing you preferred tagging scheme in an ID fork and
> get people to use it. 

Indeed, being an editor writer is one of the most influential posts you
can have in OSM. It is not for nothing that the OSMF has recently
established a "software dispute resolution panel" in order to be able to
deal with editor writers abusing this power. This panel will act if a
software is found to be encouraging mappers to act against community
consensus. It is up to the panel to establish what the "community
consensus" is in a concrete situation; the wiki and the discussions and
votes on the tagging list will likely be one point that they will
consider, but almost certainly not the only one.


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

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