Documenting the history of OpenStreetMap

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.

I thought of an interesting idea: why don’t we move all of the old proposals to the original proposer’s userspace, and remove all of the categories on the pages? That way the categories don’t clutter up, the pages are ignored in the search, and no people would be complaining about deletions.

For example, “Proposed features/business lunch” would become “User:Gutsycat/business lunch”.

Of course, certain proposals with literally no informative content, such as, can be deleted instead of moved. Also, if the particular proposer doesn’t want their proposal anymore and wants it to be deleted, so be it.

As for the software stuff, why don’t we move it all to the main software page (e.g. delete all of the Kosmos subpages and move their content over to the main Kosmos page)? I know that would make the main pages very long, but does that really matter ;)?

Btw, I did try other search engines, including Google. They all have the same problem. I also did research on how to improve the Wiki search functionality and asked around, but it went know where. So its not like didn’t think of those things or try them. Sometimes pages for tags won’t even show up in the top five and totally unrelated things will instead. Not even proposal pages in a lot of cases. I’ve also heard similar complaints other users. So there’s just something fundamentally broken about how the pages index themselves or something that needs to be worked out. (as a side note, I just realized the search doesn’t even work for finding user pages. That should really be fixed).

That might be an option for the category problem. I think someone suggested it somewhere above though and it was a bad idea for some reason. Although I can’t remember why. I don’t know if it would help with the search issues either though and I still think its worth deleted blank/pretty much blank pages in cases where they can be. Along with having some good guidelines.

I think that’s a good idea for software pages. I don’t think it would make the main pages to long either if the content was summarized and condensed well. There’s already a lot of completely unnecessary words in some pages that can be removed as it is. Plus, I think it would ultimately make things better. Most information about something should be on its main page anyway and people shouldn’t have to dig around to find things if they don’t have to. Especially considering how badly the search works. There’s been plenty of times where I was trying to find information on the wiki and couldn’t. So I just gave up, but then stumbled on it later while reading an only vaguely related article. Plus, a lot of pages are stubs and could use the content.

I have looked through the discussion and concluded that you are by mistake remembering a different idea that was remarked on by Tigerfell, about me moving deleted proposals to my own userspace. Which is a different idea from what I’m suggesting now…

I actually tested it by putting “EzekielT/deleted proposals” (alluding to my user subpage) into the search engine. My user subpage “User:EzekielT/deleted proposals” did not appear, which means user pages are excluded from the general search (unless “User:” is added).

My bad, I thought it was brought up. I guess not. So even better you suggested it then I guess :wink:

Yeah, even searching just for EzekielT doesn’t come up with anything besides proposals you have commented on. Not even user talk pages you have commented on. Which is weird. It seems to be excluding anything involving user pages. If you put in just “EzekielT” it should at least forward to your user page though, like it does for tag pages.

I’ll have to find some examples of tag searches that are screwed up also.

This might actually work out to our advantage though when it comes to my idea ;). Since this means that once we move all of the old proposals to the original proposers’ userspaces they will not even show up at all in the search.

It looks to me as the system is configured to search in the “article” namespaces only. This is the configuration It had to be changed after the addition of Wikibase because there was some issue (just look at Yurik’s talk page explanations. For external search engines, I think to can let them index your user page manually by adding the following on the page


I dislike the idea of moving proposals to user space for several reasons:

  • Proposals would be located at different spots, so you can not use the prefix search when looking for ideas of proposals. (Same applies for removing categories.)

  • I feel uneasy about editing pages in user space if not specifically invited by the user.

  • Some proposals were set up by multiple users (one created, the other changed it substantially).

  • The page moves will create additional discussions or need to be regulated.

I mean, the proposals that could be of use for others and contain more than some trivial content should just stay were they are. Why to you want to change something there?

Because Adamant1 wants pretty much all of the old proposals to be deleted, saying that they are cluttering up categories and searches. Which I agree with. So I found a nice compromise between the opposing sides here. Also a lot of the old proposals that Adamant1 wants deleted that do contain more than some trivial content are 7-11 years old. So a lot of them may contain outdated information. Also, it seems impossible to draw the line between “trivial” and “non-trivial” because Adamant1 and Nakaner, Mateusz, Polarbear, RicoZ, and the others opposing deletions have a clearly different view on what is valuable and what should be kept or not. Not to mention that I’m pretty sure they will continue to revert Adamant1 and do everything they can to make sure the pages aren’t deleted. Which brings us back further into a spiral of chaos. Besides, if we move them all to userspaces, none of the proposals will be deleted. You’ll still be able to look at them (even though it’ll admittedly be harder to search for them).

Honestly, EzekielT as I outlined, I think moving is even worse than deleting or not caring. I set up this thread to define those pages worth deleting. You can find my draft at

Look at it this way: we have very little choice. It’s a never-ending trap. If Adamant1 deletes the pages, Mateusz and/or Nakaner will revert it. If we keep things how they are, Adamant1 will delete all of them and Mateusz and/or Nakaner will revert again. Then the argument starts again. So I think deleting the pages or keeping them how they are is out of the question, since either action will be reverted or disagreed upon. But if the particular proposal was created by mistake and/or is completely devoid of content, like employment agency, an exception could be made to delete the page (although certain deletion opposers would be against that, particularly Mateusz). Mateusz has, in fact, stated this:

So we’d have to convince them that “deleting is the only option”, which is the exact opposite of what Nakaner, Mateusz, etc. want. Especially considering that Mateusz already doesn’t even want us to delete any proposals, no matter how devoid of content they are. And if we decided not to care and keep things how they are, that wouldn’t be very fair to Adamant1 (or other users who agree that we should delete the pages) either. So we’re stuck in a complete deadlock, with no way to get out of it (other than the idea I described).

I’m afraid there’ll be nothing we can do when it comes to prefix searching, but we could create a new category: “Defunct proposals moved to userspace”, or something like that, which consists of all (and only) the old proposals we moved to the userspaces.

They’re all old, abandoned, or rejected proposals, so there wouldn’t be any real reason to edit them anyway. Unless you’re planning to revive it, but I’d suggest you create a new proposal if that’s the case. Normally the only edits would be to move the page to the userspace, replace all the categories with the category I thought of above, and that’s it.

It isn’t really like the repeated reversions and heated deletion discussions are much better. Adamant1’s opposers would be much more tempered down if we discussed moving pages rather than deleting them, and Adamant1 will be happy because they’ll stop with the repeated reverting and bothering, not to mention Adamant1’s problem with keeping old proposals to begin with (cluttered categories and the search problem) would be fixed. So my idea is a nice compromise between everyone.

Just to be clear, I’m not against all proposal pages. I just think some of them should be deleted for the reasons given here by me and others. Those pages are only a small fraction of proposal pages out there though, all of which I haven’t touched and have zero reason to. but its still helpful to delete the ones we can. Even if they are only a small minority of all proposal pages.

Exactly, that quote is a perfect summary of why this is an issue in the first place. It shouldn’t be an all or nothing thing. Not only is it unfair to me and other users who want pages deleted, its not a good way to run a website in general or even a standard they apply to themselves. For instance see Nakaner’s comment on Lyx’s talk page “I just found Tag:motorcycle friendly=customary and added {{delete proposal}}. I’ll buy some fresh junk food.” Although not a proposal page, it still shows he’s open to at least discussing it other instances besides this one. The whole “I’ll buy some fresh junk food” makes it sound like he doesn’t take it as seriously as he should or did in my case either.

In Polarbearing’s case, he has made it clear that he doesn’t care about or respect the opinions and actions of the administrators. So he probably won’t abide by whatever guidelines we come up with either. If he or anyone else continues to cause problems once we decide on the guidelines, all we can do is report them to admins and the DWG until they back off.

In my own case, I’m 100% willing to follow whatever guidelines we decide on. As long it is based on discussion, consensus, and allows for some instances where pages can be deleted. I think if clear, fair guidelines are decided on that it will mostly be unnecessary to move proposals to peoples talk pages. Since it will give us wiggle room to delete things.

I appreciate the work Tigerfall has put into it and I think the points on his discussion page are all pretty sound. Although there’s a few things that could probably be improved, but I don’t have time to comment on them right now unfortunately. I will later though. In general, some guidelines are better then no guidelines. Even if they aren’t 100% perfect or don’t follow what I want to a tee. I’m just happy its being worked out.

The amount of blow back and resistance to even discussing it that I had to go thorough over the past couple of years to even get it this point was pretty ridiculous though, but it is what it is. I guess :roll_eyes:

Good luck trying to convince Mateusz Konieczny, Polarbear w, Dieterdreist, or Nakaner to follow through though. Especially Mateusz.

Concerning Polarbear, he has recently become a member of the DWG. Which gives him a powerful key to potential victory for his case.