[OSM-talk] Automated edits code of conduct

√Čric Gillet gill3t.3ric+osm at gmail.com
Tue Jul 12 16:29:57 UTC 2016

2016-07-12 14:35 GMT+02:00 Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org>:
> On 07/12/2016 03:03 AM, tuxayo wrote:
> > The questions is how legitimate are they. To know if we can enforce them
> > strictly.
> Enforcing anything "strictly" is likely to cause problems. Rules can
> only be enforced strictly if they are so well written that any idiot can
> enforce them by simply following the instructions ;)

 The DWG currently use those (AE CoC) rules to revert changesets without
further justification.

For example, a few years ago we had a user called "worst-fixer" or so
> who did a couple of large-scale edits removing the "created-by" tag. Now
> this was a mechanical edit against the rules, and there was a consensus
> in the community to remove those unwanted tags piecemeal instead of
> creating a new version for hundreds of thousands of objects, needlessly.
> Strictly enforcing rules would have meant reverting all these edits but
> that would have been quite silly (causing another extra version to be
> created), so they were allowed to stand.

It's a good thing that rules could be bent a little, but that means that
they should be modified. Defining rules but overriding them when convenient
is not a sane approach in the long term.

> > That would also allow DWG members to intervene with a greater legitimacy
> > because it would not come from their status.
> Having a DWG whose legitimacy comes from rules would allow everyone to
> start endless discussions about DWG's interpretation of the rules, or
> finding loopholes in the wording. This is what happens in Wikipedia and
> it allows troublemakers to waste an awful lot of volunteer time by
> posing as innocent, rule-abiding people.

Do you suggest that DWG members should not even base their actions on rules
accepted by the community ? That wouldn't work even with perfectly honest,
calm, and open-minded members, as even then contributors could have have
another valid opinion on things. (just to be clear : I am not saying that
they are not calm, honest and open-minded)

> > I agree that showing them at sign up wouldn't help. However it's to be
> > expected that first time mass edits are done without knowing the AECoC
> > as nothing more than the JOSM search and replace tool is needed. Is not
> > like importing which require more documentation.
> Perhaps we could make JOSM cleverer in detecting such cases and alerting
> people to the rules. JOSM already pops up tons of warnings - about
> moving lots of nodes, about displaced aerial imagery, etc. - it could
> also say "you're changing a lot of objects over a geographically large
> area at the same time and you haven't zoomed in on any, are you sure you
> have read the rules..."

That is a good idea !

> > The reporting of AECoC violations could be done in a dedicated open
> > mailing list so we could have accountability about how these issues are
> > handled.
> > *Any thoughts about this? This is a concrete proposal.*
> DWG is happy about every case that the community manages to handle
> between themselves, without DWG having to get involved. If such a
> mailing list would help taking some of the load off DWG's shoulders and
> DWG would then only deal with those cases that the community can't
> handle or where things aren't clear enough, sure that would be great.

So at least one user should reach out to the contributor before involving
the DWG ? That would be great but that's not currently the case in my

> The rules about automated edits stem from their ability to upset many
> people in the community. Reverting an automated edit will usually only
> upset one person.

At least some reversal were done after only one complaint, so it doesn't
currently work like that.

> It is a logical fallacy to believe that just because
> automated edits are a problem that needs to be regulated, the reverting
> of automated edits needs to be regulated as well.

Why not ? All changesets should be justifiable, even so on a revert where
there are no verification at all of the modified data, whereas in
"automated" edits there are at least some.
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