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

Dave osm.list at randomjunk.co.uk
Fri Jul 13 23:05:24 BST 2007

> P.S: You might not be aware of the "release early, release often"
> software development paradigma, which basically states (oversimplified):
> "don't wait too long for changes to go to the public"!

That works fine for internal stuff, and backwards compatible changes.
As soon as you have a pile of legacy stuff, and mapper's change
inertia to deal with, every edit to the feature set comes with a whole
seperate world of hurt.

Let's put it this way: if you start making a change to the map
features by deprecating and replacing tags every other week, it won't
be long before everyone just starts ignoring it completely.

Map features isn't a piece of consumer software, it's more like a
public API. You keep API changes to a minimum, and tend to work around
make backward incompatible changes. API's that don't follow this
principle don't tend to get used.
This doesn't mean you /can't/ deprecate stuff. It just means you have
to do it carefully, preferably as a larger set of changes, and without
introducing incompatible stuff on top.
It's a complete pain, I know.

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