[OSM-talk] Deleting template parameters copied to data items

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Wed Jan 15 13:03:29 UTC 2020

On Wednesday 15 January 2020, Mateusz Konieczny wrote:
> PangoSE started "Transition to use data items when this can be done
> without loosing information" discussion at
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Wiki#Transition_to_use_data_
> <https://slack-redir.net/link?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwiki.openstreetmap.or
> It is about whatever it is correct to delete data from the OSM Wiki
> page after it was copied to data items.
> Anyone with opinion on that topic is welcomed to comment in this
> discussion on the OSM Wiki.

This is a move that has been a long time coming as part of a piecemeal 
effort by some to establish a technocratic rule on the OSM wiki by 
moving central content out of the control of the mappers into the 
domain of data items with higher hurdles of participation due to poor 
ergonomics (the whole concept of requiring human editors to deal with 
numerical IDs for features that already have a unique identifier in OSM 
by design never ceases to amaze me) and with an established ability of 
the technocrats to control the crowd sourced editing work with bots.

Quite obviously that it is not a good idea.  But it does not matter much 
because the community has plenty of options to work around this should 
it indeed be implemented against the interests of the mapper community.  
I would for example if something in the info box is wrong and this is 
not part of the wiki page of a tag as it should be not delve into the 
awkward interface of some separate database and subject my edits there 
to the rule of some technicrats with bots but would simply add the 
information to the wiki page.  We could also add - in addition to the 
bot managed info boxes - new real human managed info boxes.  All of 
this would be awkward of course but nothing that could not be done.

The real discussion that needs to be done is how we can get to a better 
documentation of the actual use of tags by humans for humans.  We have 
had some useful discussion on this at SotM last year and in a follow-up 


Continuing in that direction of a better human curated documentation of 
tags is the thing to pursue, not moving towards a bot managed database 
in replacement of or in control of human contributions.

Christoph Hormann

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