[OSM-talk] An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Jochen Topf jochen at remote.org
Fri Apr 19 21:01:23 UTC 2019

One problem with the wiki is that you can't find current stuff because
of all the old stuff in there. Deleting helps. Marking them as obsolete
doesn't. And moving them to a different namespace is even worse, because
it breaks links but doesn't make the page invisible.

Anything that makes pages invisible (to users and search engines
indexing the wiki) but allows switching on a special "archive mode"
where you still see those things would be fine. But as long as a search
on the wiki or on the search engine of your choice finds all that old
crap, the problem is still there. You still have to click through all
the pages you found to see that they are marked as outdated.

Preserving history is a worthy goal, but not at the expense of making
the current information much harder to find and use. Let archive.org
do the history keeping. And if all else fails, it should be possible to
revive deleted pages from the mediawiki software.


On Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 10:02:48PM +0200, Michael Reichert wrote:
> Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2019 22:02:48 +0200
> From: Michael Reichert <osm-ml at michreichert.de>
> To: OSM talk mailing list <talk at openstreetmap.org>
> Subject: [OSM-talk] An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?
> Hi,
> there is currently a voting on a Deletion Policy [1] for the OSM wiki.
> The policy was drafted because we had two incidents last year when
> someone tried to delete a large number of old and orphaned tagging
> proposals in draft state. He claimed that these pages might confuse
> users looking for a tag.
> He is not totally wrong with that. These pages can be confusing but
> there are reasons why other users (including me) claim that most
> proposals should be kept.
> In addition to these proposals, there is a much larger number of
> outdated wiki pages about mapping techniques and OSM-related software.
> Some can be updated but some can't: Pages about Kosmos document a map
> renderer whose binary cannot be downloaded any more. Pages about
> unmaintained/historic software like Traveling Salesman [2] or Namefinder
> [3] are another example.
> Deleting these pages is deleting memory and history. Rewriting them in
> past tense and deleting unimportant content is a lot of work and is on
> the borderline to vandalism if the page could be updated. However, such
> pages should be treated different to make readers aware that they hit
> something old and outdate. That's why I think that there should be a
> "Archive" namespace on the wiki where such pages can be moved.
> An alternative to a namespace is a template being added to these pages
> informing readers that the page exist for archival purposes only. That
> was done with the wiki page about Namefinder. It has already been marked
> as "This page describes a historic artifact in the history of
> OpenStreetMap. It does not reflect the current situation, but instead
> documents the historical concepts, issues, or ideas."
> What do you think?
> Best regards
> Michael
> [1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OpenStreetMap:Deletion_policy
> [2] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Traveling_salesman
> [3] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Name_finder
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Jochen Topf  jochen at remote.org  https://www.jochentopf.com/  +49-351-31778688

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