[OSM-talk] Disallow Anonymous Edits NOW

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sat Oct 13 23:16:52 BST 2007


   there's almost not a day on which we don't have someone complain
about Potlatch on the German-language mailing list. Mostly, people
are angry about some detrimental changes that have been made using
Potlatch, and most of the postings end in "this tool should be
switched off before it does more damage".

You all know that discussion, we had it here just yet, again, albeit
in a more polite tone than on the German list.

I think Potlatch is good and we should surely not switch it off.

Looking at all these discussions, it seems that while people are
understandably annoyed when someone ruins their careful work, the
thing that really pisses them off is if they can't contact the author
because he has not "made his edits public".

So there's someone wreaking havoc on your data - and you don't even
know who he is, cannot contact him, nothing! The only handle you have
is that he does what he does with Potlatch, so naturally you call for
Potlatch being switched off.

I think this is the core of the problem. And while I have said in the
past that I would like fully anonymous edits without even registering,
I rescind that now and say: No more edits by accounts who haven't made
their edits public!

Simple as that. Any data upload by an account without the public flag
is rejected. Nobody is forced to set the public flag on his old
account - if there's a history to be hidden, just create a new account
to make your future edits with. And of course, new accounts would have
the public flag automatically set because it makes no sense to create
one without.

Anyone logging in who has not made his edits public gets a message
outlining his options - make edits public or get a new account for
editing - with a nice and polite explanation saying that one of the
most important things in OSM is the community, and community cannot be
built if you can't talk to the others.

I'm willing to implement the required changes to the API unless
someone beats me to it. I think I would even be able to change the
Potlatch controllers to this effect, however I would need some input
from Richard about what kind of error code I should return in cases
where the user has not made his edits public.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00.09' E008°23.33'

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