Documenting the history of OpenStreetMap

One note: I would not consider discussion on diary entries or on this forums as a good place to change what is deleted and what not on OSM Wiki.

Yes, if there aren’t any arguments in favor of the proposal in the deletion discussion of a draft, and no other discussion before, it may be deleted. But if there are people in favor of keeping it, then they can not be dismissed with the argument that it was within a deletion discussion and doesn’t count therefore, i.e. in this case it should be kept.

Why not and where would it be a good place to disscuss it then? The way I imagined it, whatever is decided here will probably be passed through the mailing list or something before being implemented. So its not neccesarily a stright line from here to inforcement.

This was what I planned as well.

Yes of course. I misunderstood beforehand. Maybe, I thought a bit too complicated there and the sentence is rather confusing.

Well, more in general I am a bit fearful of people saying “We have to keep it because it is a proposal.” and then we are stuck and all of our rules do not help. Any change we could implement to avoid such a situation?

While I agree that there are situations where a page can be deleted, it is an exception. Generally we should not delete content, and this includes abandoned and rejected proposals, especially when the tags are in use and it is the only documentation. Rejected proposals where the tags are not in use, may still contain content (comments of people voting, discussions, etc.). I think we agree, at least I thought I found these principles also in the draft.

The draft is a tradeoff between the people’s opinions on deletion. It is good to hear that we agree. :slight_smile:

Now, I would like to widen the focus a bit and include wiki pages about outdated software. As I already mentioned, there are a lot of pages about Kosmos with a deletion request. Looking at all of the pages starting with “Kosmos”, I would like to come up with some guidance about deleting them.

  • Should we delete them?

  • Can we set up some rules as for the proposals?

  • Is a maybe a template like Historic artifact start useful for subpages as well?

Regarding my own opinion, I am not sure yet. I created this template for mayor pages, but I do not think it is really applicable to pages like “How to install Kosmos?”. I am also not really sure if it is worth keeping them, because they might clutter the view and when a software is broken or simply unavailable, you do not need a manual, right?

I would not delete these either. Someone is still using this software, and we do not gain anything with deletion of the documentation of these. It’s ok to note at the top of these pages current information like “no active development “ or “unmaintained software”, so that people can decide if they want to use it nonetheless, or use some software which is still cared for.

It kind of hinges on what the wiki is for. If its only a document of OSM history or things related to it, then the pages about Kosmos rules should be deleted. They are two steps away from OSM and the information can be found on other sites. There’s already a lot of websites with rendering rules for it and an O’Reilly book about it, among others. Also, a lot of the articles are redundant, exact copy/pastes of other articles, and creator of it even said references to it on the wiki could be cleaned up. Plus, it hasn’t been updated since 2009 and Maperitive is around. It might be different if Kosmos was unique or if the rendering rules were transferable, but its not and they can’t be used with other software.

To me the wiki isn’t for general cartography stuff. Nor is it for how use software or hardware that uses OSM data. Things like how to use the interface in OsmAnd, what map icons mean in different software, or how to use specific GPS units can all be found in better places. They aren’t specifically relevant to OSM anyway and know one would maintain the data even if it was. People already aren’t updating the version lists for a lot of the software. The less data rot the better. Id say the same for the Kosmos rules.

More generally, banners shouldn’t replace basic article quality standards. So the language in an article for outdated software should be in the past tense and the software’s status should be mentioned in the article itself. Pages for outdated software shouldn’t be “frozen” or not editable anymore either just because the software is not maintained. On a couple of articles I was reverted by different users when I changed the word “is” to “was,” which shouldn’t happen. On the Kosmos page there is no way to tell in the actual article that it is no longer available. There’s also been a dead link in the article to download for at least a few years. People were fine putting the “outdated software” template up though and calling it a day. Things like that shouldn’t happen either. Templates shouldn’t be used as an easy replacement to having clearly written, up to date articles.

Reading current WikiProject Cleanup I would conclude the opposite (Objectives, 2nd bullet). (But maybe it is worth talking to the people of the JOSM dev team to place all documentation at one place, probably their wiki.)

When creating this template, I aimed to indicate clearly that a page refers to historic content because I thought that the readers might not suspect historic content in the wiki as they would merely think of the wiki as a manual. I was also a bit annoyed by the warning template which made these pages look inconsistently and abandoned.

When I updated the Yahoo page, I thought about whether it would be wise to condense all relevant material onto one page and request deletion for the rest. So, I was thinking of suggesting a deletion for a page like Yahoo coverage. In this case, the wiki would have lost the information about the exact coverage of Yahoo’s imagery, except for the coverage maps around Oslo, Norway and Melbourne, Australia. I moved them over to the main Yahoo page to illustrate the coverage.

Maybe, we can conclude that deletion is appropriate where content has been moved to a different page?

I can not really come up with another trade-off there, because I think that deleting half is even worse than to neglect the pages.

P.S.: The main problem I have with current deletion actions is that they seem to be not very thought through (meaning every case checked individually) and they appear periodically like someone is going through all pages that could be irrelevant and then requests deletion.

I think condensing the information and moving it to the main page of whatever the thing is would be a good idea. In the case of Kosmos there’s no reason there can’t be a section on its page discussing rendering rules (or for that matter one page called Kosmos rendering rules that’s link to from the main page). Especially since a lot of the articles related to it are redundant. One subject doesn’t need to be spread across 500 pages. In most lot of cases it makes it much harder for the reader to find the information they are looking for. Aside from just being completely unnecessary (there’s no reason it can’t just be a sub-topic of an already existing article).

That sounds fine to me. It shouldn’t have to be a 1/1 transfer though. Condensing it is fine if it doesn’t come at the cost of anything important being left out. It should be double checked by someone besides the original person who transferred it though in cases where there’s a proposal discussion just to be sure.

I can’t speak for other people, but I know in the cases that involved me I put a lot of thought into it ahead of time and reviewed each article. People have a tendency when something is done that they don’t agree with that the other person didn’t think it through. In most cases the tendency is wrong and its just a difference of opinion.

For my edits that’s because I go to college. So I only have a month or two of free time every six months or so during breaks to contribute seriously to the project.

It is a voluntary project and people contribute when they can. Just because some people edit things more sporadically then the few hardcore editors doesn’t mean there’s nefarious intent behind it. Most of us have lives outside of OpenStreetMap. So I wouldn’t read into it to much. In general, there shouldn’t be a standard of how many edits a person has or what schedule they do the edits on for the edits to be valid. Otherwise the place is run by the people with OCD who edit all day, like Verdy_P did. He made a lot of mistakes and a bunch of junk. The fact that he was the top contributor and never missed a day of editing didn’t help at all. If anything it just exacerbated the problem.

In the end it should come down to the quality of the content someone adds or the edits they make. That’s it. Everyone makes mistakes though. Just because someone has been here a long-time or has a cartography degree (or whatever) doesn’t mean they should get a pass on things or be able to get their way “just because.” Also, we should support each other in improving our editing skill and creating better articles. Be they new editors, sporadic ones, seasoned ones, or whatever.

Btw, since we are on the subject what do you think about article pages like (he created some other articles based on brand tag to). Personally, I think its out of the range of the purpose of the wiki. Its not related to OSM, geographical (like a town or city would be), or really related to mapping in any way. Also, allowing pages like it could set a bad precedent where the wiki might become a dumping ground for brand information spam or brand based edit wars (its pretty idiotic that he’s claiming Harley is a defacto tag).

It is technically a tag though. I told the guy I was going to request the page be deleted, but maybe I won’t because I don’t want to “cause a controversy.” There should be basic standards for what articles should or shouldn’t exist though. Even Wikipedia has notability guidelines. Its clear that once pages like that are created its much harder to get rid of them then it is to just not allow them in the first place. Someone could probably make the idiotic claim that its worth saving just because it exists, due to “historical importance” or some none sense. Or at least hold its deletion up in a two year arbitration process, that would be unnecessary if there where notability guidelines.

(Just an fyi, this isn’t an attempt to side step the purpose of this forum topic or anything. Figuring out notability is a big part of figuring out what should or shouldn’t be deleted, requested for deletion, or created in the first place. It would also help with article quality and reduce wiki “bloat” overall.)

As an idea, if the rules could be changed that when placing a {{delete}} the content should not be deleted it would be a great improvement: for one it would be possible to change that into {{delete proposal}} without actually reverting the “deleting” edit and also the content would be still findable and useful while the discussion is lasting. Not to mention it would be much easier to see at the first glance what it is about and less messy in “history”.

The discussion can be of course amended with new arguments but should not be repeated.

Imho you should only use {{delete}} where you expect universal agreement and {{delete proposal}} elsewhere. Now count this - and others have found more examples where they don’t agree.

The rules said what to do if you don’t get any comments to a {{delete proposal}}. Personally I would ask on the mailing list or something like this. But many times if there is no response to {{delete proposal}} it simply means there is no support to delete it. Maybe the template of {{delete proposal}} should ask for a vote more explicitly?

the {{delete proposal}} is there for a reason - not everyone who looks at the page reads the complete talk page in detail.

It is much easier to discuss if the content is still visible and searchable. Also, instead of deleting or not deleting someone may decide he wants to improve the content. How is he supposed to do it if the content is only in the history?

I am not saying this but all of them need at least a second opinion.

If the page is deleted how would a third user found anything on the talk page???

Imho all this questions require a far more extensive discussion than the 6 or so active participants in this forum thread.

My thought… for multi-page deletions of non-garbage content like this, the “delete requestant” should himself initiate and coordinate discussion on multiple available channels.

This could work like choosing one of the talk pages as the main discussion page, send discussion requests to at least one relevant mailing list and place delete proposal requests with the proper links to the main discussion page on all sub-pages.

In short I am strongly against simply blanking these pages and placing {{delete}} on them. Please do someone convert those to a delete proposal and start a proper discussion in the wiki.

noticed the categorisation issue but this doesn’t seem to be the fault of the old pages. If it is too cumbersome for older pages the solution could be to give up categorising ancient pages according to newest trends. Can’t the new categories be made backwards compatible in some way? Can’t categories get a year or epoch tag so old categories can keep old meaning?

Have seen vandalism all over the place but my impression is that so far there is no trend to preferentially vandalize irrelevant ancient proposals that nobody reads. Watching those pages may be easier than deciding whether to delete them. My stats is - I have seen a few delete requests on pages on my watchlist and zero vandalism.

Perhaps those users should be encouraged to add categories like “historic content” instead of wasting time with endless deletion discussions.

I take it that would apply to all the deletion requests then and not just mine?

Given that mine are only a small fraction of the deletion requests and the only ones that drew “controversy,” along with the fact that know one who complained originally except you has really participated in this discussion, I’m getting the feeling it was more a thing against me specifically in the first place and that people don’t really care about pages being deleted as much as they act like. The whole thing seems more like a bunch of fake outrage by the people, as a way to get their way. Instead of a genuine concern about the actual pages being deleted. Otherwise, there would be the same crap I received on the talk pages of everyone else who requested pages be deleted (including the complainers themselves. Since they have also requested pages be deleted) and there would be way more people involved in this discussion.

The fact that there isn’t makes me think this isn’t really a big issue to start with (I already didn’t think it was, but its just more evidence). The whole “Perhaps those users should be encouraged to add categories like “historic content” instead of wasting time with endless deletion discussions” victim blaming thing just reinforces it.

What’s the difference between “amended” and “repeated”? If “amended” means “no possibility of changing the original decision,” then I would say that’s worthless. Pages should change and improve over time. So there’s no reason things shouldn’t be able to be revisited to reflect that. As I’ve said above, wiki pages work in a “frozen state” way where it becomes good enough to ones persons standards and then can never edited or talked about again.

If the page is deleted why would they need to? Realistically there’s no reason to revisit a talk page for a deleted page if it was deleted due to a lack of content. Unless your saying someone might want to visit the talk page to reread the discussion about why the page was deleted, but then your getting into some weird circular logic of “there should be a discussion about if the page should be deleted, but the page shouldn’t be deleted after because the discussion about the deletion is valuable.” Which is completely nonsensical.

I find it interesting that originally you said this whole thing was an issue because it “causes controversy.” So now when that’s proved not to be the case due to the low turn out here, its the medium we are using to discuss it. Then when its not the medium its on the person who originally asked for the page deletion they were “wasting time with endless deletion discussions,” instead of the few cynics who came along and caused the discussion to happen in the first place. Right.

No they shouldn’t. One channel, the wiki, is fine to discuss a deletion request. Otherwise your doing the whole “I’m going to act like I support the thing, but make the hurdles to someone doing it so unrealistic they won’t attempt it in the first place.” There’s zero reason the wiki shouldn’t be a good enough avenue to discuss things about the wiki. If its not, that’s on the people who don’t want to discuss things there.

The same thing applies to this statement. Its ridiculous and unrealistic to expect someone to go through that many steps. Especially in cases where the page is essentially blank or doesn’t have “valuable” content anyway. People on the mailing list have better things to do anyway.

But again, I thought this whole issue was due to “controversy” around requesting pages be deleted. Therefore, it would follow that if know one says anything, its clearly not controversial and the page can be deleted. But now that the whole “controversy” thing hasn’t born out its that people don’t say anything because they aren’t for the deletion? Which one is it? People say something because they are against it and don’t because they aren’t. Its not that they do both because they are against it. Otherwise your back to that whole circular logic thing again. Where every outcome means the page shouldn’t be deleted, and the guidelines or deletion template are only function as a form of piecemeal lip services but aren’t actually functional.

Ultimately, if people don’t voice their opinions when they have a chance, its on them. The person doing the deletion request shouldn’t have to go through a bunch of extra hurdles, like sending a message to the mailing list, just because people didn’t want to speak up when they had a chance.

Sounds good!

Agree as well. I updated my draft accordingly.

That depends! Sometimes, on one cares. I do not want to bother the people on the general tagging lists about deletion proposals. I mean, the main scope of OSM is the map, right? I think that many people just expect the wiki to work somehow and do not bother. If you want to have a mailing list, I would suggest setting up one for this purpose specifically.

In a wiki, everyone can edit the pages. That is the point of it (I keep repeating myself). So, people come up with new categories, templates, and summary articles and then you need to link the pages to them with requires editing. If you want to keep an historic archive, you need to employ a static system. I explained this in this here

This is the current process. Blanking is probably done to make the users understand that the content will not be there anymore, but we could reconsider this.

I thought the admins do this?

certainly. Imho delete requests (unlike delete proposals) are a very serious matter. Anyone who gets delete requests reversed more than a few times should take a break and have all his requests reviewed. Would you kindly post a list of all pages that you deleted or suggest to delete so other people don’t have to wade through logs of hundreds of pages?

It has been a long time that I ever used {{delete}} and looking back I think I would choose a different path now.

Wrong impression, wrong forum. I did not count all of the delete requests and most discussions are in the mailing lists.

If you got more complaints than other users it may have two reasons: either you make more mistakes or people are simply overwhelmed by the number of delete requests that you made. Either case is a problem that you should try to avoid or you will get more serious complaints.

No, I had the impression that you are exceptionally self-righteous. Most discussions are in the mailing lists, this has been the first time since years that I visited the forum and I will ignore it very soon again.

I don’t they should in this case. Since its only a few people who originally did, along with continue to do, the reversals in the first place and I had more support for the pages being deleted then not. Which you continue to ignore and I’m sick of repeating myself about.

I actually took a six month “break” where I consulted other people about this, who agreed with me, and waited to see if original pages were deleted before I requested more pages be deleted. I even reverted a few of my own deletion requests in the mean time that I thought could have been thought out more or had more discussion. Everyone learns as they go. Even me. I never said there was zero room for improvement on my part or that 100% of my edits were fantastic. Just that the ratio of hate to wrong was way off and that we should figure out some rules so both can be mitigated in the future. I’m not sure why that’s such an issue.

Again, I don’t think the wiki should be ran based on opinions of the few loudest voices in the room. Especially when they are the clear minority. Simply because has someone “has an issue with something” doesn’t really mean anything either. It things should be based on more then outrage. Every opinion should be heard and considered. That goes for everything here, not just in my case. You clearly disagree with that.

No. I’m cool. I rather trust that the admins made the right decision by deleting the pages. Last time I checked they know perfectly well what they are doing. Sometimes better then we do.

Its predictable you would ignore the fact that 99% of the pages I requested be deleted where as evidence that I was in the right though on most of them though. “Ignore the evidence and resort to personal attacks instead (see below)” is a pretty bad tactic in general.

I’m not sure how its the wrong forum to point out that this might not be such a big controversy after all, when your the one that has repeatedly brought it up as a reason for things here, but whatever. I haven’t seen any discussions about this on the mailing lists either. Maybe you could provide a link to the discussions going there and also tell the people there it would be helpful if they joined this discussion so its not spread out everywhere.

Or its a personal thing (or maybe just that the people suffer from elitism). I don’t know why that’s so hard to imagine. You think people on here aren’t prone to personal grudges or any form of bias? Right. Verdy_P totally was. Its pretty easy to look through his talk page and see it. I’ve into to many intellectual disputes with both Polarbear, Mateusz Konieczny, and Nakenar in other places besides the wiki. They generally single certain people and act the same way they did here. I’ve even gotten private messages from other people saying they do the same thing to them. So don’t treat me like I’m making baseless statements with nothing to back it up.

As I’ve said I don’t care about complaints as a metric for anything. Following rules and guidelines are more important. I’ve said throughout this that I’m perfectly willing to talk to an admin or someone from the DWG to. The couple of times they have been involved they sided with me anyway. So I don’t really care.

I’m not sure what’s self-righteous about requested pages be deleted, pointing out that more people were fine with it then not (including admins), that there should be a discussion about so it doesn’t happen again in the future (which everyone benefits from), or me saying that if the people who raised concerned originally really cared they would be participating in the discussion. None of those things are self-righteous. If anything they are the exact opposite.

I could say though that its pretty self-righteous boss someone around on their talk page about something but not help them come up with a solution to the problem. I could also say the same thing about someone who says that if another person doesn’t like how the search on the wiki works, they should just use another search engine (which you did). I’m not going to stoop that level though because name calling is pointless, doesn’t resolve anything, and just makes the person doing it look needlessly petty. Which I rather avoid. There’s enough pettiness around here already.

Btw, I wasn’t including you in the comment about fake outrage. It was in reference to the people who have a constant problem on my talk page over the last couple of years but don’t participate here. I have respect for the fact that your taking the time to participate in the forum. I don’t have respect for you calling me self-righteous or you putting this all on me though.