[OSM-talk] Is OSM Mapper ready for 0.6? (was Re: DisablePotlatch finally)

Beej Jorgensen beej at beej.us
Wed Dec 17 20:52:43 GMT 2008

Gert Gremmen wrote:
> But we might consider creating
> a dropdown box with frequent
> messages like:

I really like this as a compromise.  And although I want people to enter
meaningful comments with every commit, just forcing them to type
*something* won't necessarily accomplish that.

And seconding what Pieren said: at the last place I worked, a group of
people I'll collectively refer to as "the artists and designers"
consistently performed some alteration on their files which was
described as "asdf" in the check-in.  They had to type something, so
they typed something.

OSM is very free-form, and that's a strength IMO in spite of the
spirited discussions we have about whether or not an asphalt surface is
"smooth", or whatever.

In that light, I'd vote for "encourage, but do not force" with the
commit comment.

Coming full-circle to Gert's dropdown box suggestion (with not too many
items in it!!), I'm ok with "choose one of these 10 things or type your
own."  I think the ASDF-crowd will 9-times-out-of-10 choose something
remotely appropriate out of the list.

Effort required from least to most:

1. choose random and likely incorrect message from list
2. choose correct message from list
3. asdf custom change message
4. correct custom change message

Granted, choosing a random message from the list is still the easiest
thing to do, but I think people who use software on a frequent basis are
getting somewhat hard-wired to choose the right thing when presented.
It's only marginally more difficult to choose the right thing from the list.

Subsequent software releases could fine-tune the pulldown list based on
frequency of actual comments.

Finally, there might be some way to appeal to the mapper's pride.
Putting the right comment on a change log is more than just for
tracking--it's a way of saying, "*this* is the work *I* did!"  We could
have a way for users to see others' changelogs, for example, which might
be shown as one's "Openstreetmap History of Work".  The last thing I'd
want is for the record of my hard effort to say "asdf" over and over again.


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