[OSM-talk] Hashtags are not sufficient changeset comments

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sun Apr 18 11:22:23 UTC 2021


most of you reading this list will be aware that the changeset comment 
is a place where you communicate to other mappers what you have done (or 
intended) in this changeset, but I do want to raise awareness for this, 
and ask everyone to help with that endeavour.

Writing a human-readable changeset comment means showing respect to 
other volunteers in OpenStreetMap with whom you are cooperating.

https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Good_changeset_comments explains 
this in more detail, and in 16 languages.

Hashtags can be used in addition to a good changeset comment but they 
can never replace it. A changeset comment with 10 hashtags that aren't 
documented anywhere is worse than no changeset at all. With such a 
changeset comment you're shouting at other mappers "if you don't 
understand this letter salad then you're not part of my team, go away!"

When I encounter changesets that consist exclusively, or even mainly, of 
changeset comments, I write a short changeset discussion entry 
explaining how changesets comments are aimed at, and should be readable 
by, other human beings, and therefore they should be written in a 
natural language. (Usually that would one of the languages commonly used 
in the region being edited, or English.)

If you are a mapper: Lead with a good example, and write human-readable 
changeset comments. Whenever you encounter changeset comments that are 
not human-readable, politely ask the other mapper to change their 
approach. (If an active mapper stubbornly refuses to write 
human-readable changesets, you can report them to the DWG and we'll ask 
them again.)

If you are involved in teaching other mappers, or creating organised 
activities: Make sure that new mappers understand that changeset 
comments are not some unnecessary stuffing; they are how you address 
other people in this project. Keep your hashtags to minimum that is 
necessary. Improve your statistics software to count better, instead of 
instructing users to swamp changeset comments with 10 different hashtags.


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

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