[OSM-talk] Potential problems moving/depreciating map features tags.

Alex L. Mauer hawke at hawkesnest.net
Fri Jul 13 20:53:14 BST 2007


David wrote:
> 1. How will the changes be communicated? Both to mappers entering data
> and consumers of the data either via the API or planet dump. If people
> don't know the tags have changed they will keep using the old ones.
> 
> 2. User inertia. Even for technical people getting the hang of mapping
> can be a bit of a challenge. Since the old tags will presumably
> continue to work many people might just continue using them instead of
> making the effort to learn new tags.
> 
> 3. What to do with the old tags in the database? The old tags can't
> really be deleted because the person entering them might be using a
> different tagging scheme.

This is all covered by "deprecation" (not depreciation).  See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deprecation for details.

> I personally think it may be best to live with the inconsistencies.
> The infrastructure isn't currently there to support the amount of
> evolution it needs to stay consistent. I think it may need to move
> beyond a wiki page and become more integrated with the api. Perhaps
> even to the point map features tags are separated from the rest of the
> tags and expected to comply with a defined standard. That way editors
> like JOSM could present the standardized tags to the user anyway they
> wanted. Hiding any inconsistencies or even the concept of keys and
> values altogether.

That only works if you have a perfectly-defined specification that
covers every situation.  Many people on here keep saying "wait for
STAGS, I don't know what it is but it will be a silver bullet that
magically solves everything".  I certainly hope it is, but I have grave
doubts that it will be the be-all and end-all of tagging schemes.  It
too will need changes, and those changes will end up running into the
same problems I am in trying to get even the tiniest change through.

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