[OSM-talk] SteveC should decide

Russ Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Thu Oct 1 13:51:45 BST 2009


Frederik Ramm writes:
 > Not at all. Russ has called for dictatorial leadership which the project 
 > should follow even if there were absolutely nonsensical decisions.

WHOA!!  I never said that.  What I said was that if we can't choose,
as a community, between yes/no, true/false, and 1/0, then SteveC
should choose one of them, arbitrarily, because it matters more that
we tag consistently than that everyone tag randomly.

And yes/no, true/false, and 1/0 are merely the low-hanging fruit.  The
real problems are things like name=NONAME (or have I just invented Yet
Another Trivially Different way of tagging roads with no name).
That's where the differences are small, the opinions are many, and
the negative effect on the database is large.

Yes, I realize that any one randomness can probably be papered-over,
but when the database is full of randomness, then it becomes harder to
use.  And I'm not editing because editing is fun (which it is).  I'm
editing because I want good, consistent data.

The randomness is not a good thing.  It's a case of a lack of
leadership.  Yes, free-form tags are a good thing.  They let people be
creative and not be bogged down when there is no standard.  But random
tags are a bad thing.  They blur the data.

 > If we have open issues in the community that we cannot find a good 
 > solution to,

Time spent arguing about tags is time away from editing.  Nothing is
free.

 > then the reason for this is not that we simply lack a good 
 > Führer who tells us what is right and what is wrong;

I invoke Godwin's Law.

 > it is because these issues are difficult and the community is
 > perhaps divided about it.

Surely you jest.  It's difficult to choose between yes/no and
true/false?  Please, pull the other one, it's got bells on.  Call me
Mr. Gullible, but not to my face.

 > I can't understand how some of you seem to be yearning for a power 
 > figure that absolves you from thinking for yourselves just to make 
 > things simpler.

I'd never ask anybody to make a decision that goes counter to their
wallet, because I know that 95% of people won't make that decision.

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