[OSM-talk] SteveC should decide

James Livingston doctau at mac.com
Sat Oct 3 01:38:10 BST 2009

On 03/10/2009, at 7:02 AM, Gervase Markham wrote:
> More examples from the Mozilla project: if one vocal group want
> something one way, and another vocal group want something the other  
> way
> in Firefox, the _worst_ thing you can do is make it a preference so  
> that
> both sides can have what they want. That just makes everyone's life  
> more
> difficult, because there are now two code paths to test and maintain.
> Multiply this up by a number of decisions and you get complexity  
> explosion.

That mostly works because you're talking about code, not paragraphs of  
description of what a tag means. If they're knowledgeable enough to  
figure it out, two people reading a chunk of code should come up the  
same idea of what it does, which doesn't happen with tag descriptions.

If a tagging overlord who happens to be English writes a description  
of a tag, I can pretty much guarantee that some native English  
speakers from another country (e.g. Australia or the US) will read it  
a different way, or people who have English as a second language will  
rad it a different way.

If we wanted to go the tagging-committee route, I think that voting  
people on to it is the wrong things to do. Geographical and cultural  
diversity is much more important than how many votes you get,  
otherwise you'll end up with a group that doesn't include large  
potions of the world.

> If I were considering using OSM data in my business, I would  
> consider it
> laughable that after 5 years there had not yet been a decision on what
> value or small set of values I needed to look for on boolean  
> attributes
> to see whether they were true or false. Laughable.

As people pointed out the true/yes/1 things isn't really what we're  
arguing about, it's the principle of how we decide things. What does  
"forest" mean, or "residential", in a global sense that can be  
explained to everyone?

More information about the talk mailing list