Documenting the history of OpenStreetMap

Whatever is discussed here it seems almost everyone lost interest in this thread so it will be at best the consensus of 2.5 people (pun intended) and I stopped wasting my time.

Either we agree in the wiki or it will go the normal proposal route with RFC call on ml and voting.

Its clear no one was interested in this in first. Including the the couple of people doing the reverting. Since they where obviously making a much bigger deal out of it then it is. The whole reason this discussion is happening is to satisfy those people. So the thing was a waste of all our times in the first place. Since they could have just shoved off to start with instead of reverting me repeatedly because of some stupid personal problem or something. But that didn’t happen. So here we are. Going by the lack of response here and everywhere else though this is essentially a none issue and most of the pages should have just been deleted originally, but its still worth having guidelines despite that, just to keep them from doing this type of thing again if nothing else (and there’s no other good reason I can think of).

Not that it is the consensus of 2.5 people, but so what if it was? plenty of more important decisions having to do with OSM are made by less consensus. At least in this case we did our due diligence to allow people to provide feedback. Which is more then usually happens. If those people decided not to provide feedback though, that’s on them. We aren’t going to say screw the whole thing because other people decided to stay silent about it though.

Are you talking about the guideline proposal or when it comes to certain pages being deleted? If its about the guideline proposal its obviously still being worked on and discussed. As I said above, its on whoever doesn’t participate if they decide not to, not us. Things take time on here sometimes though. That’s life. The 2.5 people that are involved have provided pretty good feedback though that the proposal has been refined based on. So I’m not sure what your complaining about.

If your talking about deletion proposals, its clearly the consensus here that doing an RFC on the mailing list every time someone wants to request a page be deleted is unrealistic, a waste of the mailing lists time, and just not the right medium for it. There’s a good chance that people on the mailing list will just agree with whatever and not actually go over the page. Which is completely understandable. There’s no reason their time should be wasted reviewing a blank page or “bad” page every time someone does a deletion request. Plus, the person doing the deletion request shouldn’t have to manage a discussion about it in multiple mediums. Its hard enough with one. Also, know one really cared or contributed to the discussion when it was brought up in the mailing list. There’s no reason it would be any different, because ultimately this is a completely manufactured none issue, created by a few people that don’t really care about it in the first place.

Either way though, things within the wiki should be dealt with within the wiki. If things can’t be resolved there, then that’s on the wiki and its lack of a good civil community. In cases where consensus or a compromise can’t be reached, the pages should just be deleted in my opinion. In cases where its just a blank or “bad” page getting the deletion request though, which is 99% of the time, I don’t think consensus or a discussion should be used in the first place and the pages should just be deleted. Which I think the 2.5 people here all agree on. So it probably won’t be an issue most of the time anyway.

Its important to remember that not only are we discussing an extremely small percent of proposals out there, the ones out of the deletion requests that might qualify for or merit a dispute conversation is even more tiny. Unless people disregard things by reverting everything, including blank pages. Then they should just be reported to an admin. Before this gets finalized though we should be clear on what deletions requests should be contestable and which shouldn’t.

I am against deleting any proposed features and prefer to keep all of them as an archive. In cases where there is a good tagging for this kind of feature I would create banner at top of proposal template. The exceptions are pages that would fit generally deletion as being essentially blank, created as vandalism etc.

Though I am really dubious on discussing it here - not on OSM wiki where it can be followed and watchlisted or on talk mailing list where it would have larger audience.

Discussing it here combines poor ability to follow discussion and small audience.

I agree with Mateusz, generally we should keep all proposals, with the exception of empty pages and vandalism (and possibly with those pages that the original author wants deleted, and which haven’t had contributions by anyone else, including their “talk” page).
Btw., you can “watch” this forum thread as well, and get notices when new answers are posted

As I already said, you can alternatively discuss that at the draft’s talk page. Current strategy is to formulate a draft which will be posted on the mailing list.

I still do not understand why you want to keep a proposal like (which Mateusz Konieczny and I recently discussed about). There is zero use, it is effectively an abandoned draft that is almost identical to the tag is_in=Xian and it does not follow the guideline “Do not map you local legislation, if not bound to objects in reality”. We are mostly talking about proposals like this.

Can you please name a reason why this would be worth keeping?

there is a key, a value and a definition. And a suggestion on the talk page why it is not a good tag according to the mapper. And this for a tag that is only useful in a country where mapping is prohibited by law.
I would be interested to know why we should delete it. It will probably not be found by anyone else but people looking for a tag for Xian, and they at least will get some guidance from the talk page.

Please elaborate this. I do not understand the relation between using this tag and prohibition of mapping in mainland China.

Basically, you need a key, value, and a definition and then it is worth keeping?

I would say a key is sufficient, plus desirably a definition.

What I wanted to say is that we can not expect the same amount of contributions from countries where mapping is legally prohibited than from other areas. It is natural that such tags that refer to places where mapping is not allowed, are expanding slower than other tags. And it means that it will probably not get in the way of other mappers, because they will not search for the term.

You still should explain why you believe it would be better to delete this rather than keeping it.

And additionally, to focus the documentation of the wiki on currently relevant content and avoid duplication.

Ok, then let us say I hereby propose feature a=b.
This is worth storing permanently in the wiki even though just I know its meaning, right?

IMHO we have to distinguish. When it comes to focussing the documentation, this should be seen as focussing the linked / structured documentation. Isolated wikipages with few content do not distract anybody. You will not see them (if you do not explicitly look for them). Of course I would not link the xian proposal from a map features page or something like that, nor would I link it from as “see also” or similar, and I would oppose to do so.

I agree every instance can be discussed individually. A proposal like that might eventually also fall into the “vandalism” case.

Is there any chance we can formulate more general rules? Discussing in a case-by-case basis has led to edit warring in the past (this is the whole reason we discuss this actually).

Well, I wrote a proposed key is probably sufficient (because not always you will need to propose value in order to make sense), plus desirably a description, and you replied you’re going to propose a=b. Obviously in this case, it doesn’t make sense, because neither “a” nor “b” do provide any kind of context. This is different from almost all keys or k/v that are proposed, which do provide some inherent meaning (although it may not always be clear what is the intended interpretation, e.g. amenity=school has been read as “any kind of general school”, but also as “any kind of institution where you may learn something”, that is why a definition is also desirable).
Now, not every definition makes equally sense, some are written so poorly that they either include more than what they wanted or less than what was intended. It is not possible to cater for every kind of constellation (like a=b) with universal rules about deletions. Generally, I am with Mateusz, we should not delete any proposal, with some very few exceptions (vandalism, void pages, …, where it could be seen as “not a proposal anyway”, although posted in the wiki proposal namespace).

Obviously, rules can not cover any case, but I hoped to get some sort of trade-off from both sides (people favouring deletion and others that want to keep it all). Unfortunately, we are still stuck.

IMHO, it is intolerable when certain users just revert every proposal that was suggested for deletion with an edit summary like “No reason to delete this!” and then they do not even check the specific reasons given for deletion. Formulating rules would be one way to avoid such situations or at least to clarify it.

I also struggle to understand the argumentation to keep every proposal, because we are talking about a fluid wiki system with changing content which needs to be related to each other in some way and is always exposed to edits by everyone. Seems contradictory to me.

I also think that proposals including only amenity=school are not helpful because they do not provide additional information like a definition or a more extensive discussion. I see no value there. I could just create a page “Tag:amenity=school” and write the same. I do understand that sometimes proposals have a value, if they serve as the only source for documenting a certain tag or concept.

I believe it is a tiny minority that wants to delete things. If you want to get a more representative panorama of opinions you should start a thread on talk. Generally, there is more risk to deletions (you potentially remove things that are actually useful to someone) compared to not deleting something that would better be deleted (someone eventually takes more time to find what he is looking for).
I would consider the first much more harmful than the second, and in the discussed cases I would also question that anybody is loosing time because of these proposals (besides us here).

what about boundary=hospital_district?
or boundary=census?

I agree, a definition should be there. If there is not, but the tag is in use, the page will still serve as a “base” for the talk page (tag related discussion).

That has zero truth to it. Proposal pages aren’t isolated. Even blank ones pollute the proposal categories, making it hard to get through them to the legitimate proposals. They also screw up searches on the wiki and with other search engines like Google. Which me and others have already stated. Plenty of junk proposals like “joke” ones are linked to also and in some cases its not completely clear they are “jokes.”

Without clear guidelines even those things will be disputed and reverted with prejudice by Mateusz and others. As they already have been. If we go with such broad definitions of a useful page as you would like its not clear what would qualify as vandalism anyway. For instance “joke” proposals serve zero functional purpose. So are sort of vandalism in a sense. Some people are fine with them though. Whereas, other’s aren’t. Often times vandalism is meant as a joke so really any page could be claimed as a joke instead of vandalism and therefore be kept. So just saying “vandalism” should be deleted doesn’t work on its own without being more specific about it.

If you want proposal pages to just function as records of possible keys we can use, even if the page is devoid of any content, why not just create a wiki page that functions as a list of all the possible keys we have with small definitions or something? Having a proposal page for every single key there might be is excessive and completely unnecessary. Especially if they don’t have any or extremely low usage.

It also leads people to then create unnecessary and disingenuous tag pages for the keys, where they act like they are defacto just because there’s a proposal page. Like RTFM did.

Its about even on how many people want to delete things versus don’t. There’s also various opinions on what should or shouldn’t be deleted. So its not all black and white. Going by the lack of comments here and other places though, IMHO most people don’t really care one way or another and its a small minority that does either way. As I said above though, plenty of important decisions are made in OSM by a small minority of people. So I don’t see the small turnout as a particular problem in this case. We don’t done deciding on the guidelines yet either.

That didn’t seem to be the case with the discussion you started there about me requesting pages be deleted. It got less responses then this forum post has and none of them took the time to look at the pages you referenced. They also didn’t give any serious feedback about the issue. I don’t see why it would be any different if we took it them now. Some people, like myself, don’t use the talk either and they have as much right to participate in the discussion as anyone.

know where does it say that the talk page is the defacto place to discuss things or that there opinions have more importance then those anywhere else anyway. The only advantage is that they would be slanted more toward your opinion since they wouldn’t put the time into researching the subject and the pages being discussed. Ultimately though, things having to do with the wiki should be worked out by users in the wiki. If you can’t get people in the wiki to agree with your opinion that’s on you. You shouldn’t take your grievances to increasingly more obscure, out there, discussion mediums though just so you can find a few people that will take your side.

Or there isn’t and you don’t. Pages get deleted all the time on this wiki and others. Its a fact of wiki’s. Know one cares or complains about any of them. In this case it was only a small minority of deletion proposals out of the many currently on the wiki which were reverted. As Tigerfell said know body even bothered to read them being doing the reverts. So its impossible to claim it had anything to do with potential usefulness or risks. Since the people who reverted me had zero idea what the content on the pages even was and they didn’t care.

Its not like “usefulness” can’t be judged by people in the deletion proposal discussion though. Or we should just disregard current users opinions and keep everything instead because of mythological, none existent, user that might some day care about something like blank pages?

Me and other users have wasted lots of digging through the proposal categories looking for the useful ones, along with wasting time finding the correct page in the screwed up searches. I’ve also wasted a lot of time reading and responding to judgmental, worthless, messages by Mateusz and others because I changed “is” to “was” on some pages or because I requested a page be deleted that multiple people wanted to be deleted. I also wasted a bunch of time talking to admins and people from the DWG trying to get those people to leave me and others alone. Which didn’t work. So if you think this is a waste of your time don’t participate, but don’t speak for the rest of us. Its plenty productive for me at least if it gets this crap dealt with once and for all.

Or it won’t. 99% of the proposal pages without definitions, plus some that do, don’t have discussions in the talk pages. Even ones that have been around for many years. So there’s zero evidence to support that as a reason to keep the pages around.