[OSM-talk] Automated edits code of conduct

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sun Jul 10 23:08:07 UTC 2016


On 07/10/2016 11:26 PM, Éric Gillet wrote:
> However, another distinct set of rules is also being enforced by the DWG
> : the Automated edits code of conduct

This whole discussion seems to have its origin in this changeset:


Where - for the umpteenth time - someone thought it was a good idea to
replace landuse=forest with landuse=wood world-wide, without looking at
individual cases and motivations.

The user was contacted http://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/27656417
but insisted that his mass edit was generally ok (while acknowledging a
small mistake regarding deciduous/broad-leved). His edits were then

Because his edits stretched over several days and changesets, and
because the changeset comments contained no hint at whether or not the
particular changeset did contain this kind of un-discussed mechanical
edits, the DWG member executing the revert - that was me - only did a
cursory inspection and in doing so, reverted a few changesets that were
*not* mechanical edits.

(This was not the first time the user had been called out for
ill-conceived mass edits; he first came to DWG's attention because a US
mapper complained about http://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/27644435
which makes world-wide changes to some natural=water objects.)

The user was unhappy, but my reaction was the verbal equivalent of a
shrug; if you make a mechanical edit, refuse to concede that you made a
mistake, and your edit isn't even clearly recognizable then you have to
accept a little collateral damage. DWG has only a finite amount of time
to deal with problems and while it would be great if we could sort
through a problematic changeset or series of changeset and separate the
good from the bad, sometimes the presence of enough bad stuff can lead
to a wholesale revert.

This whole changeset was about a year ago but recently I was contacted
by one user, tuxayo, asking me to concede that mistakes were made
handling that particular revert, and would I please answer the open
questions raised by user Test360. I explained everything I wrote above,
but apparently this was not sufficient, as today I received another
message, this time by user gileri, asking me to comment, and now this

The automated edits code of conduct is there for a reason; had user
Test360 complied with it, then his edit would likely not have been
faulty (e.g. the deciduous/broad-leved mistake), and would not have had
to be reverted. The same is true for user gileri's edit in
http://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/27867757 which, had he discussed
it before, would likely either not have been executed, or at least not
have been executed in a way that drew complaints.

The automated edits code of conduct has been created as a result of DWG
work, where we often have to deal with the detrimental effects of badly
planned, badly executed lone-wolf edits.

This is just one of many rules that have been developed in the
community; some are written, some are unwritten. Take, for example.
changeset comments: While there are recommendations to use good
changeset comments, this is not usually enforced. But if there are
complaints about someone's edits, DWG may occasionally tell them that
they *must* use good changeset comments or we'll block them. Or even
basic rules about respect and politeness; they're not enshrined anywhere
or shown to you before you sign up. We also have import guidelines
(which, by they way, were the reason for another anti-DWG storm in a
French teacup a couple years ago when DWG requested that Cadastre
importers use a separate import account).

Is it *really* a problem that some rules are not shown to people when
they sign up? In my opinion, mass edits are an advanced enough topic
that, if you research it enough, you *will* be pointed to these rules,
or find them in countless answers on help.openstreetmap.org.

I'm all for discussing the rules we have, but I'd like to know what
exactly the problem is. "There has been no vote on these rules" is not
the honest reason for this thread and I refuse to be drawn into an
insincere, endless procedural discussion just because someone has an axe
to grind with DWG.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

More information about the talk mailing list