[OSM-talk] Orphaned Relations

Sarah Hoffmann lonvia at denofr.de
Mon Jul 18 16:49:52 BST 2011

On Mon, Jul 18, 2011 at 03:59:23AM -0700, Richard Fairhurst wrote:
> Sarah Hoffmann wrote:
> > I don't know about forbitting orphaned relations but it 
> > would certainly be helpful if the editors would show a big 
> > red warning sign if somebody tries to upload an empty 
> > relation.
> No. That would be entirely disproportionate. Empty relations don't do anyone
> any harm. Big red warnings put off novice users. 

No they don't do any harm. However, if close to 1% of relations 
in the database are empty, then it's about time to ask why there
are so many of them. 

The main issue here is that most users are probably not even aware 
that they have produced empty relations. They delete members, upload
the data and next time they download the same area the relation is
gone. The obvious but wrong conclusion of your novice user is that 
the relation has been deleted and all is well. That is not very
nice from an UI design point of view either. So, there is
certainly room for improvement in the editors. Personally,
I prefer if my editor tells me if I mess up a relation but if
it fits better into P2's philosophy to silently delete empty 
relations then that works just as well.

> If you really care about empty relations, you are welcome to submit a patch
> to P2 that automatically deletes relations when they're set to 0 members
> (and undeletes them if you undo that action), of course!

Wouldn't it be much easier to silently delete all empty relations
when uploading the data? From a user point of view the result should
be the same and you don't have to mess around with undo.


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