An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

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An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Michael Reichert-3
Hi,

there is currently a voting on a Deletion Policy [1] for the OSM wiki.
The policy was drafted because we had two incidents last year when
someone tried to delete a large number of old and orphaned tagging
proposals in draft state. He claimed that these pages might confuse
users looking for a tag.

He is not totally wrong with that. These pages can be confusing but
there are reasons why other users (including me) claim that most
proposals should be kept.

In addition to these proposals, there is a much larger number of
outdated wiki pages about mapping techniques and OSM-related software.
Some can be updated but some can't: Pages about Kosmos document a map
renderer whose binary cannot be downloaded any more. Pages about
unmaintained/historic software like Traveling Salesman [2] or Namefinder
[3] are another example.

Deleting these pages is deleting memory and history. Rewriting them in
past tense and deleting unimportant content is a lot of work and is on
the borderline to vandalism if the page could be updated. However, such
pages should be treated different to make readers aware that they hit
something old and outdate. That's why I think that there should be a
"Archive" namespace on the wiki where such pages can be moved.

An alternative to a namespace is a template being added to these pages
informing readers that the page exist for archival purposes only. That
was done with the wiki page about Namefinder. It has already been marked
as "This page describes a historic artifact in the history of
OpenStreetMap. It does not reflect the current situation, but instead
documents the historical concepts, issues, or ideas."

What do you think?

Best regards

Michael


[1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OpenStreetMap:Deletion_policy
[2] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Traveling_salesman
[3] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Name_finder

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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Jochen123
One problem with the wiki is that you can't find current stuff because
of all the old stuff in there. Deleting helps. Marking them as obsolete
doesn't. And moving them to a different namespace is even worse, because
it breaks links but doesn't make the page invisible.

Anything that makes pages invisible (to users and search engines
indexing the wiki) but allows switching on a special "archive mode"
where you still see those things would be fine. But as long as a search
on the wiki or on the search engine of your choice finds all that old
crap, the problem is still there. You still have to click through all
the pages you found to see that they are marked as outdated.

Preserving history is a worthy goal, but not at the expense of making
the current information much harder to find and use. Let archive.org
do the history keeping. And if all else fails, it should be possible to
revive deleted pages from the mediawiki software.

Jochen

On Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 10:02:48PM +0200, Michael Reichert wrote:

> Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2019 22:02:48 +0200
> From: Michael Reichert <[hidden email]>
> To: OSM talk mailing list <[hidden email]>
> Subject: [OSM-talk] An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?
>
> Hi,
>
> there is currently a voting on a Deletion Policy [1] for the OSM wiki.
> The policy was drafted because we had two incidents last year when
> someone tried to delete a large number of old and orphaned tagging
> proposals in draft state. He claimed that these pages might confuse
> users looking for a tag.
>
> He is not totally wrong with that. These pages can be confusing but
> there are reasons why other users (including me) claim that most
> proposals should be kept.
>
> In addition to these proposals, there is a much larger number of
> outdated wiki pages about mapping techniques and OSM-related software.
> Some can be updated but some can't: Pages about Kosmos document a map
> renderer whose binary cannot be downloaded any more. Pages about
> unmaintained/historic software like Traveling Salesman [2] or Namefinder
> [3] are another example.
>
> Deleting these pages is deleting memory and history. Rewriting them in
> past tense and deleting unimportant content is a lot of work and is on
> the borderline to vandalism if the page could be updated. However, such
> pages should be treated different to make readers aware that they hit
> something old and outdate. That's why I think that there should be a
> "Archive" namespace on the wiki where such pages can be moved.
>
> An alternative to a namespace is a template being added to these pages
> informing readers that the page exist for archival purposes only. That
> was done with the wiki page about Namefinder. It has already been marked
> as "This page describes a historic artifact in the history of
> OpenStreetMap. It does not reflect the current situation, but instead
> documents the historical concepts, issues, or ideas."
>
> What do you think?
>
> Best regards
>
> Michael
>
>
> [1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OpenStreetMap:Deletion_policy
> [2] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Traveling_salesman
> [3] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Name_finder
>
> --
> Per E-Mail kommuniziere ich bevorzugt GPG-verschlüsselt. (Mailinglisten
> ausgenommen)
> I prefer GPG encryption of emails. (does not apply on mailing lists)
>




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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Mateusz Konieczny-3
Apr 19, 2019, 11:01 PM by [hidden email]:
One problem with the wiki is that you can't find current stuff because
of all the old stuff in there. Deleting helps. Marking them as obsolete
doesn't.
Can you give example of situation where this is a problem?
With pages properly marked as obsolete it should add single click.

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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Jochen123
On Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 11:07:45PM +0200, Mateusz Konieczny wrote:
> Apr 19, 2019, 11:01 PM by [hidden email]:
>
> > One problem with the wiki is that you can't find current stuff because
> > of all the old stuff in there. Deleting helps. Marking them as obsolete
> > doesn't.
> >
> Can you give example of situation where this is a problem?
> With pages properly marked as obsolete it should add single click.

Go to wiki.osm.org. Type "GPS" into the search field and look at the
suggestions:

* GPS (redirect to "GNSS tracelog", looks okay)
* GPS device reviews (helpful page and seems to be maintained)
* GPSBabel (still useful software, okay)
* Gpsmid (software that seems to be maintained, okay)
* GpsPrune (not the newest software, but probably okay)
* GPS receiver (meaningless page only referring to a few others)
* GPS navigation & maps (page says on top: "No longer maintained since 2015")
* Gpsdrive (last version from 2012, does it still exist?)
* GPS Units for Loan (totally outdated)
* JA:GPSトレースの公開性 (I don't speek Japanese so I can't judge this)

So from the 10 suggestions, I would say that half are useful, half are
not.

The wiki is not perfect and will never be. It is okay if you
occasionally encounter something outdated or have to do a "single click"
further. But single clicks also add up. And it is not so much about the
click but about the need to read the contents of the page first. Might
be okay for you and me because we have been around long enough to see
quickly what's interesting and what isn't. But if you are not familiar
with OSM this is daunting.

Jochen
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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Jochen123
In reply to this post by Michael Reichert-3
On Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 10:02:48PM +0200, Michael Reichert wrote:
> there is currently a voting on a Deletion Policy [1] for the OSM wiki.
> The policy was drafted because we had two incidents last year when
> someone tried to delete a large number of old and orphaned tagging
> proposals in draft state. He claimed that these pages might confuse
> users looking for a tag.
>
> He is not totally wrong with that. These pages can be confusing but
> there are reasons why other users (including me) claim that most
> proposals should be kept.

I just realized that in my other reply to this post I didn't address the
question you started with, namely whether tagging proposals are worth
keeping.

I still think that we should not be overly cautious. We should delete
things when in doubt. Otherwise we'll never get the wiki to a manageable
level. But there are things worth preserving. And a discussion about
tagging might be one of those things. If there is real content, people
having different ideas about something explaining their reasons etc.,
then this is valuable. Tag discussions have the tendency to come back up
and often discussions are done again and again because we forget what we
talked about the last time or new people don't have the context. So in
those cases having some kind of history around could be useful. But
there probably are plenty of pages where somebody had some idea that
never got any real discussion, maybe about something that found a
totally different solution in the mean time. Those pages might not be so
important to keep.

So as always you have to look at each case. If a page contains content
that is still useful for our current world, keep it. But if something is
merely interesting for historical reasons then it can be deleted. And
yes, there is a gray area there, but humans can be trusted with these
decisions and the world will not end if occasionally somebody makes the
"wrong" decision. But stalling any progress in the wiki by requiring
discussions about any change is certainly not the right way. Look at
OSM itself, we allow anybody to delete anything there, too, and it seems
to work out mostly.

Jochen
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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Mateusz Konieczny-3
In reply to this post by Jochen123



Apr 20, 2019, 9:10 AM by [hidden email]:
On Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 11:07:45PM +0200, Mateusz Konieczny wrote:
Apr 19, 2019, 11:01 PM by [hidden email]:

> One problem with the wiki is that you can't find current stuff because
> of all the old stuff in there. Deleting helps. Marking them as obsolete
> doesn't.
>
Can you give example of situation where this is a problem?
With pages properly marked as obsolete it should add single click.

Go to wiki.osm.org. Type "GPS" into the search field and look at the
suggestions:
What you expect to find by searching for "GPS"? The problem
is not that there are searches that will return many archive pages
(I guess that "rejected" will get plenty of failed proposals), but
that someone is searching for something specific and unable to find
it due to large number of archived pages.

* GPS (redirect to "GNSS tracelog", looks okay)
* GPS device reviews (helpful page and seems to be maintained)
* GPSBabel (still useful software, okay)
* Gpsmid (software that seems to be maintained, okay)
* GpsPrune (not the newest software, but probably okay)
* GPS receiver (meaningless page only referring to a few others)
* GPS navigation & maps (page says on top: "No longer maintained since 2015")
* Gpsdrive (last version from 2012, does it still exist?)
* GPS Units for Loan (totally outdated)
* JA:GPSトレースの公開性 (I don't speek Japanese so I can't judge this)

So from the 10 suggestions, I would say that half are useful, half are
not.


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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Jochen123
On Sat, Apr 20, 2019 at 10:02:34AM +0200, Mateusz Konieczny wrote:
> What you expect to find by searching for "GPS"? The problem
> is not that there are searches that will return many archive pages
> (I guess that "rejected" will get plenty of failed proposals), but
> that someone is searching for something specific and unable to find
> it due to large number of archived pages.

Exactly. I expect to find information about GPS, about GPS use in OSM,
about GPS receivers, about software to work with GPS traces, etc. So I
expect to find exactly what I found. Except that I expect to find 10
useful pages, not 5. If the outdated pages were not there, who knows
what useful pages I might have found!

Jochen
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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Warin
In reply to this post by Jochen123
On 20/04/19 17:24, Jochen Topf wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 10:02:48PM +0200, Michael Reichert wrote:
>> there is currently a voting on a Deletion Policy [1] for the OSM wiki.
>> The policy was drafted because we had two incidents last year when
>> someone tried to delete a large number of old and orphaned tagging
>> proposals in draft state. He claimed that these pages might confuse
>> users looking for a tag.
>>
>> He is not totally wrong with that. These pages can be confusing but
>> there are reasons why other users (including me) claim that most
>> proposals should be kept.
> I just realized that in my other reply to this post I didn't address the
> question you started with, namely whether tagging proposals are worth
> keeping.
>
> I still think that we should not be overly cautious. We should delete
> things when in doubt.

No. Delete the page when it is certain that the deletion will assist e.g. if the page has a better page that performs the task.

Out dated pages should have a link to the latest or at least a later page.
Where there is no further activity and no link pages in OSM on the subject it should be kept.




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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

dieterdreist
In reply to this post by Jochen123


sent from a phone

> On 20. Apr 2019, at 09:24, Jochen Topf <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I still think that we should not be overly cautious. We should delete
> things when in doubt. Otherwise we'll never get the wiki to a manageable
> level.


what does this mean practically, who is “we”? Every single wiki editor? I agree that “we” should delete pages that don’t have sense for anybody, but if everyone who has a doubt should delete the page this seems an instruction for collective alzheimer.

With a policy like this we would encourage more people of a “deletionist” mindset to go on a “hunting” spree for pages that eventually might be deleted as well. From my point of view the risk of deleting useful information should weigh more than the risk of someone finding an irrelevant search result ranked higher than a useful one.

Also those pages about formerly used discontinued software don’t need a lot of “management”.
Frankly I don’t understand this fuzz about outdated information getting in the way of finding the documentation you want, it hardly ever happened to me, and if it happens it is usually country or project specific docu that ranks higher than the proposals or tagging pages I am looking for, and these are hardly ever pages one would delete.

Cheers, Martin



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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Tordanik
In reply to this post by Jochen123
On 20.04.19 09:24, Jochen Topf wrote:
> So as always you have to look at each case. If a page contains content
> that is still useful for our current world, keep it. But if something is
> merely interesting for historical reasons then it can be deleted. And
> yes, there is a gray area there, but humans can be trusted with these
> decisions and the world will not end if occasionally somebody makes the
> "wrong" decision. But stalling any progress in the wiki by requiring
> discussions about any change is certainly not the right way.

I'm in full agreement with the overall sentiment, and this paragraph
sums up a lot of my objections to the proposed deletion policy.

However, I believe that a lot of the social conflicts surrounding this
topic are caused by how MediaWiki implements "deleting" things: Only
admins can restore a deleted page or even view its history. In contrast,
everyone can undo a regular deletion in the OSM database (at least in
theory), and the history remains publicly visible.

So after a similar discussion several years ago, we created this
template for archiving proposals:
https://wiki.osm.org/Template:Archived_proposal

It basically amounts to removing a page's _contents_ (but not the page
itself or its history) and replacing it with a link to a previous
version of the same page that still had the original content. There's
also typically some basic information left on the page so that users
arriving from an external link know what they are looking at. This is
what a proposal "archived" in this style looks like:
https://wiki.osm.org/Proposed_features/barriers

It mostly achieves the same goal as deletion, especially reducing the
likelihood of getting in the way of searches (because there's little
content left to be indexed). Actually, it may do so a bit too well –
I've always been a bit concerned that it makes it hard to find old
proposals even when you're explicitly looking for them – but because
there are other approaches for finding proposals in particular (the RFC
mails, and the infobox links on key/tag pages back to the proposal),
they can still be found reliably.

The main benefit, though, is the ability for others to easily revert
this kind of change. It's easier to be bold in cleaning up the wiki when
you know that that others can quickly undo any edits they dislike.

Tobias

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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

dieterdreist
In reply to this post by Jochen123


sent from a phone

> On 20. Apr 2019, at 09:10, Jochen Topf <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Go to wiki.osm.org. Type "GPS" into the search field and look at the
> suggestions:


what would be “good” hits depends on the searcher’s intentions but can only be guessed from the search query alone, it is normal you get a lot of results that don’t interest you if the query is as generic as “gps”, “location” or “edit”

Ciao, Martin


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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Mateusz Konieczny-3
In reply to this post by Jochen123



Apr 20, 2019, 10:27 AM by [hidden email]:
On Sat, Apr 20, 2019 at 10:02:34AM +0200, Mateusz Konieczny wrote:
What you expect to find by searching for "GPS"? The problem
is not that there are searches that will return many archive pages
(I guess that "rejected" will get plenty of failed proposals), but
that someone is searching for something specific and unable to find
it due to large number of archived pages.

Exactly. I expect to find information about GPS, about GPS use in OSM,
about GPS receivers, about software to work with GPS traces, etc. So I
expect to find exactly what I found. Except that I expect to find 10
useful pages, not 5. If the outdated pages were not there, who knows
what useful pages I might have found!
I am more interesting is some real search case. I cannot imagine situation
where someone would want to find pages about software to work with GPS traces
and about GPS use in OSM and information about GPS and pages
about GPS receivers, but only pages that were updated recently.

Searching some extremely generic term like GPS will get you poor results,
even after deleting all pages on OSM WIki that you are not planning to use.

BTW, internal mediawiki search is horrible.
I would recommend searching GPS site:wiki.openstreetmap.org on an external search engine.

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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Florian Lohoff-2
In reply to this post by Jochen123

Hola,

On Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 11:01:23PM +0200, Jochen Topf wrote:
> One problem with the wiki is that you can't find current stuff because
> of all the old stuff in there. Deleting helps. Marking them as obsolete
> doesn't. And moving them to a different namespace is even worse, because
> it breaks links but doesn't make the page invisible.

I second this - Either delete or move somewhere where it disappears
from the main search index.

Old pages pollute the search index massively and make it pretty hard
for users to find the right page.

If possible it would be nice to have multiple search indexes e.g.
by language and or archival and current.

So typically you get responses from your browser language settings and
current pages. Looking for any key currently returns at least 10 pages with
languages i dont have a clue about.

And i am not shure that the current form of our wiki is the best design.
When you look for hazmat you find the "OSM-Stammtisch-Odenwald" - just a
random example, because they talked about hazmat.

Flo
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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Yves-2
Is there a way to decrease the rank of some pages in the search results in MediaWiki?
Yves
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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Tordanik
On 21.04.19 07:44, Yves wrote:
> Is there a way to decrease the rank of some pages in the search results
> in MediaWiki?

The possibility of increasing/decreasing the priority of certain search
results based on templates is being discussed at the moment as part of
this topic:
http://wiki.osm.org/Talk:Wiki#Proposal:_new_namespace_for_tagging_proposals

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Re: An Archive namespace for the OSM wiki?

Richard Z.
In reply to this post by Jochen123
On Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 11:01:23PM +0200, Jochen Topf wrote:
> One problem with the wiki is that you can't find current stuff because
> of all the old stuff in there. Deleting helps.

having the worst search engine of the whole internet isn't a good
reason to delete old content.
Its about time to admit the total failure of this search and inplement
it via google or other ones.

Richard

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