[Talk-GB] Restoring a usable map service!

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sat Oct 31 19:51:48 UTC 2015


On 10/31/2015 08:10 PM, Andy Allan wrote:
> It's the constant moaning whenever something changes that annoys me
> most. All the effort that volunteers put in to create and improve the
> style, to run the servers, to write the blog posts and announcements
> and all we get from Lester is moan moan moan. I've had enough, to be
> frank.

I'd like to broaden this a bit - it's not only about map styles, and not
only about Lester's complaint.

OSM is a team effort and most of us are doing this in their spare time.
Progress and innovation happen more or less at the whim of individuals
who happen to have a little time and a good idea. And we *need* that to
happen; we need to evolve to keep up, to remain attractive, to remain

We must not allow ourselves to feel like we are a commercial service
provider[*] - we don't offer guarantees or service level agreements or
backwards compatible APIs or anything like that.

We reserve the right to, among other things,

* change the map style and map availability at any time - for example,
while we're not currently planning to do that, years ago the OSMF board
contemplated a decision to only serve map tiles in the context of the
www.openstreetmap.org web site and not to third parties.

* change the API at any time - for example, we might do away with HTTP
Basic Authentication soon, or introduce different data types, or change
the methods in which data is uploaded. API 0.7 could become reality
before the decade is over ;)

* take tile server or API offline for maintenance at any time and for
any duration required

* shut down or modify existing ancillary services currently run on the
OSMF platform

We *must* reserve this right or else having to care for the user base
will ruin our capacity to innovate. It is hard enough coming up with API
0.7, but how much harder would it be if we had to make sure that nobody
has to change anything on their end once we switch!

To be clear, none of this would happen overnight and everything will be
discussed and announced well before, but nobody can expect us to reject
change just so that their business case continues to work.

If you are building something, anything, where you count on the OSM
servers being available in a certain form, think twice because we don't
promise anything.

You have been warned ;)


[*] Even though our volunteer operations people seem to achieve a
service quality that many commercial providers would dream of...

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

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