[OSM-talk] SteveC should decide

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Sat Oct 3 14:12:12 BST 2009

2009/10/3 James Livingston <doctau at mac.com>:
> 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.

I don't think it is a problem of different uses of English (sure,
different cultures don't make it any easier): the main "problem" is
interpretation: look at legislation: there are laws, which are written
by experts undertaking serious efforts, but still there is need for
judges and advocats, still there is room for interpretation. Two
advocats might come to opposite conclusions for the same case and in
the same jurisdiction.

One thing is to find really good definitions (laws), the other is to
debate continuously their meaning and be able to solve conflicts in an
appropriate way. It is naive to think we (or even worse one big
leader) could just set up some strict rules and everything would be
easy forever. We do need flexibility and continuous will to
change/renew/adjust our definitions to what fits best with current


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