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

mail at marcos-martinez.net mail at marcos-martinez.net
Wed Mar 24 01:06:34 UTC 2021


Hi Steve, 

 	* Yes, but.  Knowing that there ARE "regional differences" (e.g. how
highway classifications at a local level fit into OSM's existing
scheme), we must allow for these.

Fully agree. As I said: Complex rules for a complex world. If there is
consistency based on community consensus and documented on the Wiki -
perfect. This is all what I understand Sören wants to reinforce: to
strongly discourage tagging that is not voted or agreed and documented.
Of course world wide valid tagging schemes are desirable but when not
possible local schemes need to be implemented - and followed. 

 	* Yes, but.  The flexibility, growth and let's be honest, creativity
that OSM allows with "any tag you like" are hallmarks of OSM.

As mentioned repeatedly by others: There's nothing wrong with inventing
new tags as new tagging needs will always arise. The emphasis lies on
NEW. You can't find a suitable tag for what you need? Invent one.
Ideally you should inform the community via the mailing list and create
a proposal that hopefully will later be approved. From that moment on it
should become "official" and of course anybody can challenge the vote
and start a new proposal to modify the previous one. It seems obvious to
me that any editing of the same reality on the ground but with different
tags should be STRONGLY discouraged. I still can't think of any possible
advantage of tagging against the wiki. 

In case you don't want to start the whole process (which is perfectly
fine as well) there will eventually be competing undocumented schemes
around and these kind of inconsistencies are acceptable as many
contributors don't want to be involved in OSM bureaucracy. Now, AS SOON
AS somebody else makes a proposal and this gets approved, we should make
sure only the "offical" one is used. 

 	* Such "alignment" doesn't happen by fiat.  Well, not very often,
anyway.  It happens as usage gets noticed, picked up by others, used
more widely and emerges as the accepted standard.  This is always
happening in all living languages, tagging in OSM is no exception.

OSM in many ways is/should be different from languages. As languages,
OSM in some way tries to "communicate" the reality of the world.
Nevertheless, language inherently has the purpose of allowing
individuals to express themselves as such in a creative way. But we
don't need book writing or intimate poetry skills, nor songs or
speeches. In language terms, synonyms and rhetoric figures are
desirable, in OSM we should aim for ALWAYS repeating the same tag for
the same element. What we need is the creativity and combined effort to
best reflect the world in a database in the most universally
understandable way. OSM should be breathing and alive by quickly
including new concepts and needs but not in duplicating and triplicating
tagging schemes. 

Bye, 

Marcos 

Am 23.03.2021 03:16, schrieb stevea:

> On Mon, Mar 22, 2021 at 11:49 AM <mail at marcos-martinez.net> wrote: 
> 
>> 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?
> 
> Yes, but.  Knowing that there ARE "regional differences" (e.g. how highway classifications at a local level fit into OSM's existing scheme), we must allow for these.  Where this must happen, "consistency on a regional level" is achievable.  Of course, if a person, group or "task force" wishes to really think on a particular problem and propose a solution that can harmonize some tagging scheme worldwide, such efforts are both supported through existing process and highly encouraged as "a problem to solve."  Some problems (seemingly) can't be fully solved, but they can be partially harmonized with "regional differences" (with consistency in that region).  Saying "things change on the other side of that border" is simply being realistic.  Again, "world harmony" might never be achieved (if it can be, it should be), so let's strive for regional harmonies first.
> 
>> Would you consider it positive if people voluntarily tagged in an aligned manner?
> 
> Yes, but.  The flexibility, growth and let's be honest, creativity that OSM allows with "any tag you like" are hallmarks of OSM.  That isn't about to go away any time soon, if ever -- nor should it (imo).  Such growth spurts are both positive now and will continue to be positive when they happen.  There will be circumstances where the project must grow into a new space, and as such "alignment tagging" doesn't already exist, tagging must be "coined afresh."  We can't simply turn that off and let such growth die because one person isn't allowed to be bold enough to create a new tag.
> 
> Again, tagging is a language and language has usage:  its "collective habits," not its idealized models of how tagging works or should work in the abstract.  As such, usage defines language, but usage changes over time.  Usage is not an easy topic (going back to Daniel Dafoe in the 17th century) and vacillates between being prescriptive and descriptive:  the same snarl we get mired in about how the wiki does or should operate w.r.t. to tagging.  Like dictionaries, our wiki is much more descriptive than prescriptive (unless it expressly says otherwise, and it does in some isolated cases).
> 
> Such "alignment" doesn't happen by fiat.  Well, not very often, anyway.  It happens as usage gets noticed, picked up by others, used more widely and emerges as the accepted standard.  This is always happening in all living languages, tagging in OSM is no exception.  What we see here and now writ large is that people want to seize this power "by fiat" (whether by wiki writing, crafting a proposal, being assertive on a mail-list...) as opposed to "by usage."  People posting taginfo data are an example of demonstrating how usage speaks for itself.  "Active deprecation," while it has existed in OSM, seems an artificial process, as what is old and becomes defunct becomes defunct simply through lack of usage.  That's a natural process and OSM should pay attention to how organic and real it is, rather than replace it with something that not only is more forceful, often dividing and contentious, but artificial and disharmonious with the order of how things will simply fall out of favor
anyway.
> 
> How do we manage and document all of this?  Well, acknowledging that it is an active process is a good place to start.
> 
> Nobody ever said that a worldwide map made by millions of us was going to be easy.
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