[OSM-talk] Voting process (was: Re: Map Features, maxspeed and maplint)

Tordanik osm at tobias-knerr.de
Fri Oct 10 15:43:26 BST 2008

Shaun McDonald schrieb:
> In my opinion the voting process is broken, as it can potentially vote
> in proposals that will break backwards compatibility and require
> extensively more complex processing of the data. Take for example:
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/Proposed_features/Status

Yes, proposals can break backwards compatiblity. I do not believe this
is a bad thing at all – if a new concept is better than an old one, then
maintaining b.c. is the last thing I want, especially in a project with
as random and insufficient “standards” as ours. That is not to say that
b.c. isn't desirable, but it should by no means be required for new ideas.

Moreover, the possibility to break b.c. is not limited to proposals –
the competing concepts of “just add it to the wiki” and “just use it”
can break b.c. as well, if not easier.

I readily admit that voting has its flaws. Looking at the quoted
proposal, you'll find that two of those who voted against it
(Nibblenibble and Basemonkey) have only a single contribution in the
wiki – the vote –[1], have created their accounts the same day they
voted[2] and have cast their votes within 30 minutes from each other.
Also, at the time of this writing, no OSM accounts exist whose names
correspond to these wiki accounts. The two still might be legit voters
(and when in doubt, it's probably fair to assume they are), but it's
impossible to tell.

But even this doesn't mean that voting is useless. The RFC+voting serves
as a way to initiate discussion, collect ideas and encourage sufficient
documentation. We are not talking about legally binding decisions here,
it's just a tool for these purposes. And if someone has better tools to
offer, I will prefer these, of course. It's just that this hasn't
happened yet.



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