[Talk-GB] Wikis are not tablets of stone as suggested by the suburbs debate: a proposal

SK53 sk53.osm at gmail.com
Wed Nov 26 14:23:21 UTC 2014

Hi Brian,

The real problem with the wiki is that pages tend to be prescriptive rather
than descriptive.

This is the difference between Fowler & Fowler (or for Americans Strunk and
White) and a good dictionary. A quick scan of Language Log
<http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/> will show all the problems of
prescriptive usage forms (not least, that the prescriber are often just
plain wrong <http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2922>).

Given the keenness for the prescriptivism of English usage guides, trying
to change who key & value pages are written on the OSM wiki is probably a
Sisyphean task. One simple start would be to remove the voting element from
tag proposals, which is rarely truly consensual (given the quorum is 15
from say 500,000); and remove use of the term 'deprecated' which is

Taginfo, of course, provides the baseline for a descriptive approach. For
this reason I largely use it when trying to choose a tag for something I
rarely tag.



On 24 November 2014 at 14:23, Brian Prangle <bprangle at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi everyone
> Why not have  a large advisory at the head of every wiki page which links
> to the following content?
> The content of a wiki page is:
> 1. as close to authoritative as possible but NOT AUTHORITATIVE
> 2. for guidance only: it is NOT MANDATORY
> 3. reflects only  the collective opinion of the editors of the page
> 4.subject to local knowledge and ground surveys which ALWAYS TAKE PRIORITY
> 5. to be ignored only after careful thought and suitable tagging with a
> note= xxx tag to explain
> 6.not to be used as a basis for automated edits: See policy on automated
> edits which requires discussion with the community affected and the
> reaching of a consensus.
> Rgds
> Brian
> _______________________________________________
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> Talk-GB at openstreetmap.org
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