[OSM-talk] Thoughts on OSM design, and looking forward and back

Chris Hill osm at raggedred.net
Wed Feb 24 13:16:36 GMT 2010

SteveC wrote:

> Right up front we have the school of thought that everything is perfect the way it is. That uservoice is some kind of inherently crappy system (see the uservoice ideas page at http://osm.uservoice.com/ ). That we shouldn't allow people to use tools which make fixing the map easier (see @chilly on twitter), that people are inherently stupid and there should be a barrier to entry to editing in OSM because it's complicated. This school of thought is essentially still living in 1991 and I'll call this school the Game Haters: everything is wrong, even talking about it is wrong.

The first time I tried to use UserVoice, it hung.  When I tried later in 
the day I got an HTML error.  I call that crappy for a live system. I 
have NOT said that we shouldn't allow people to use tools which make 
fixing the map easier. The quote was: "Pushing people (newbies) to use 
KeepRight is a recipe for havoc. You need experience to use KeepRight so 
you know what to ignore."  You clearly agreed with me Steve, you even 
created a video to try to give people help in using it. Your video still 
assumes that people are experienced users, but hey, you tried. 

If you had researched a little before your latest explosion, you would 
have realised that I'm not against feedback (just against crappy 
bolt-ons). The suggestion to improve your mock-up, once I'd managed to 
get it into UserVoice, is currently top of the list.

You believe that feedback is a good thing, but, it seems, only if the 
feedback confirms your own ideas. You have railed against the UI, 
against hard-working volunteer contributors and against anyone who 
disagrees with you, who's left?

I do think that there are many things to improve in OSM, but upsetting 
people is not going to achieve any of them.  One thing you might like to 
try to rebuild is your personal Interface with the Community, which 
looks broken to me, probably crushed under your ego.

One more thing, the stuff you write on blogs and published email will 
remain permanently on the Internet, so before you make disparaging 
remarks or write untruths about people on a public forum consider the 
impact you might have on reputations.


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