this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

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this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

colliar-3
Hey

Maybe, it is me only to slow in reverting and solving these mistakes or
even the bugs I incounter in JOSM while working but I am definitely feed
up with talking about the same things over and over again and I am
probably not even polite enough to do the job of communicating.

So what to do ? Silently reverting is not an option. Always getting DWG
involved neither.

I am fed up with:
* iD making it way to easy to delete objects but not offering an option
to undelete them (is there any history information at all ?)
* simply combining ways and merge nodes without any validation or
warning about conflicts in tags or problems with relations
* not telling the user about the importance of all tags, even unknown to
the software and allowing user to communicate with user of the last
change of the object

Any plans of supporting lanes-tagging-system ? Otherwise there will be
even more complains in the future.

Is there anyone taking care of mistake made by iD users and documenting
the most common ones to either better explain how to avoid them and/or
fix the software ?

As iD is supposed to be the newbie editor all mistakes will rather turn
them down than encourage them.

So far, I try to keep calm and rather save my changes and upload them
later after solving conflicts instead of starting an edit war by
reverting or uploading older versions but I spend more time with
communication and investigating problems than actually mapping and
resolving notes and I still have quite some gpx tracks and photos from
over a year ago to map.

How about simply denying some changes with iD like combining ways ?

Cheers colliar

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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

SomeoneElse-2
On 10/02/2015 23:38, colliar wrote:
> ... I am fed up with ...

... at this point it's probably worth mentioning that we've been here
before:

https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2013-August/thread.html#67854

Unfortunately, experience suggests that there's relatively little that a
discussion on on the "talk" mailing list is going to be able to do
here.  There are essentially two sides to the argument - at one extreme
new mappers "should never be able to break data" (and if they can't edit
at all because they can't understand what they need to do, tough) and at
the other new mappers "must have everything complicated hidden from
them" (and if some complicated OSM structure breaks, tough).  Obviously
you're not at one extreme and the iD developers aren't at the other, but
there _is_ a difference of opinion here that it's not easy to
reconcile.  If you want new mappers, you have to actually allow them to map.

If you've got specific examples of things that new users get wrong
consistently (and even better if you can understand what they've done
wrong and why) then I suspect that it would really help would be to
raise an issue on Github about it, or add to an existing one if one
already exists.

> * iD making it way to easy to delete objects but not offering an option
> to undelete them (is there any history information at all ?)

Whilst I'm in no way a fan of the iD user interface, even I had no
problems finding the "undo" button.  I don't think that new mappers tend
not to find it either, since an answer to the common question "what do I
do if I get a conflict" is "undo back past the problem", and new mappers
haven't said (on the help site or on IRC) "how do I undo"?

> * simply combining ways and merge nodes without any validation or
> warning about conflicts in tags or problems with relations

What might help here is to get details from the new mapper concerned of
how they felt that they needed to merge nodes or ways.  The "merge"
operation is fairly visually obvious when it happens; what's not so
obvious is that the resulting merged node with semicolon-separated tag
values isn't particularly useful in OSM.

There are a couple of "merge" Github issues; it may be that they already
describe the problem that you are referring to here.

> * not telling the user about the importance of all tags, even unknown to
> the software and allowing user to communicate with user of the last
> change of the object

I suspect that this comes down to the "two sides to the argument"
mentioned above - the idea is that new mappers shouldn't have to worry
about "all tags" (or indeed, where possible, tags at all).

>
> Any plans of supporting lanes-tagging-system ? Otherwise there will be
> even more complains in the future.

This sounds like https://github.com/openstreetmap/iD/issues/387 to me.  
That's probably the best place to explain what you'd want the end result
of a "new mapper knowing about turn lanes" would be.

>
> Is there anyone taking care of mistake made by iD users and documenting
> the most common ones to either better explain how to avoid them and/or
> fix the software ?

Back in 2013 I did have a look, and came up with this:

https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2013-August/068018.html

Since then the "Thing X changed to thing Y" problem has been much
diminished by the fix for iD issue 542.  "POI added without a main tag"
is still pretty common, and "unexpected deletions" are rarer than the
were (perhaps also because of the iD 542 fix).

The initial "who made what sort of error" analysis was in
https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2013-August/067936.html ,
and note that in there iD new users made statistically fewer serious
errors than P2 ones (or, on a very low sample size, JOSM users).  I
don't have the numbers, but based on a gut feel since 2013 I'd say that
currently the editor for which the highest proportion of new users are
going to cause _widespread_ problems is probably JOSM.

> ... So far, I try to keep calm and rather save my changes and upload them
> later after solving conflicts instead of starting an edit war by
> reverting or uploading older versions but I spend more time with
> communication and investigating problems than actually mapping and
> resolving notes and I still have quite some gpx tracks and photos from
> over a year ago to map.
>

Supportive communication with new users is really important, so thanks
for taking the time to do this.

I don't believe that OSM has an "iD users" problem; it has a "new
mappers" one -  or more accurately, a "data far more complicated than it
needs to be" problem which means even experienced mappers can have
problems.  For example, have a look at this help question and the ones
that it links to:

https://help.openstreetmap.org/questions/40792/editing-large-multipolygons-in-josm

Those were asked by an experienced OSM mapper who usually edits in JOSM
- how's someone without an in-depth knowledge of how OSM data is
organised or any of the OSM editors supposed to manage? Similarly, how
are new mappers supposed to manage here
https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=17/52.14720/5.09810 ?

Cheers,

Andy

(neither a developer nor even a regular user of iD, but someone who does
care about helping new OSM mappers get started by whatever means)


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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

Jo Walsh-3
> What might help here is to get details from the new mapper concerned of
> how they felt that they needed to merge nodes or ways.  

I use changeset discussions a fair bit, partly because they end up right
in the new mapper's inbox, and that provides a link to an outside view
of the new mapper's changes. I always wish it was more obvious how to
explore the history of the related nodes and ways and see the editors of
related changesets from the changeset landing page, but at least it's
all there in the links, at least in theory.

Ideally a calm discussion leads to someone engaging a bit more and
fixing the problem themselves, though more often it's a polite prelude
to a future reversion :/

> > * not telling the user about the importance of all tags, even unknown to
> > the software and allowing user to communicate with user of the last
> > change of the object
> > ... So far, I try to keep calm and rather save my changes and upload them
> > later after solving conflicts instead of starting an edit war by
> > reverting or uploading older versions but I spend more time with
> > communication and investigating problems than actually mapping

On the one hand I'm sorry to hear that communicating and fixing is a
distraction from mapping for you, on the other you're starting to sound
like a candidate member of the DWG ;) Maybe consider it, validating an
activity you're pursuing anyway...


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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

brycenesbitt
In reply to this post by colliar-3
I agree 100% that iD is making editing mistakes easier, out of proportion to the degree to which it makes editing by new users easier.

The delete user interface is particularly fragile, encouraging the most pernicious form of damage: silent deletes. 
That goes for both the main map, and associated relations.

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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

tmcw
Unfortunately, experience suggests that there's relatively little that a discussion on on the "talk" mailing list is going to be able to do here.

This. Help with development or give productive feedback on the issue tracker. FUD around editors has been discussed to death and it's clear that writing more emails won't do anything.

On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 11:13 AM, Bryce Nesbitt <[hidden email]> wrote:
I agree 100% that iD is making editing mistakes easier, out of proportion to the degree to which it makes editing by new users easier.

The delete user interface is particularly fragile, encouraging the most pernicious form of damage: silent deletes. 
That goes for both the main map, and associated relations.

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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

brycenesbitt
On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 8:25 AM, Tom MacWright <[hidden email]> wrote:
Unfortunately, experience suggests that there's relatively little that a discussion on on the "talk" mailing list is going to be able to do here. Help with development or give productive feedback on the issue tracker.

Productive feedback on the iD issue tracker follows a similar trajectory to that on the talk list.  It's not really working there either.
There seem to be fairly deep seated differences in the philosophy of on-boarding new mappers, and those reflect themselves in iD's user interface.  Since iD was awarded prime spot on osm, and since it's development is tightly held, everyone else is left with no outlet other than to complain.

OSM is a very open project in general, but iD's development is very tightly held and opinionated.

 
FUD around editors has been discussed to death and it's clear that writing more emails won't do anything.

"Fear uncertainty and doubt" implies the criticism is invalid. 


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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

tmcw
How is an open source project that was open source on day one, was publicly communicated from day one, heavily explained in time-consuming technical blog posts, has 77 contributors, and has accepted hundreds of pull requests "tightly held."

On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 11:39 AM, Bryce Nesbitt <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 8:25 AM, Tom MacWright <[hidden email]> wrote:
Unfortunately, experience suggests that there's relatively little that a discussion on on the "talk" mailing list is going to be able to do here. Help with development or give productive feedback on the issue tracker.

Productive feedback on the iD issue tracker follows a similar trajectory to that on the talk list.  It's not really working there either.
There seem to be fairly deep seated differences in the philosophy of on-boarding new mappers, and those reflect themselves in iD's user interface.  Since iD was awarded prime spot on osm, and since it's development is tightly held, everyone else is left with no outlet other than to complain.

OSM is a very open project in general, but iD's development is very tightly held and opinionated.

 
FUD around editors has been discussed to death and it's clear that writing more emails won't do anything.

"Fear uncertainty and doubt" implies the criticism is invalid. 



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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

Ian Dees
In reply to this post by brycenesbitt
On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 11:39 AM, Bryce Nesbitt <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 8:25 AM, Tom MacWright <[hidden email]> wrote:
Unfortunately, experience suggests that there's relatively little that a discussion on on the "talk" mailing list is going to be able to do here. Help with development or give productive feedback on the issue tracker.

Productive feedback on the iD issue tracker follows a similar trajectory to that on the talk list.  It's not really working there either.
There seem to be fairly deep seated differences in the philosophy of on-boarding new mappers, and those reflect themselves in iD's user interface.  Since iD was awarded prime spot on osm, and since it's development is tightly held, everyone else is left with no outlet other than to complain.

OSM is a very open project in general, but iD's development is very tightly held and opinionated.

That is very far from the truth. 77 people have contributed to iD [0]. The code is pretty darn easy to understand and is constructed in a pretty approachable way. It's well-documented and specific questions are answered quickly.

If you have something valuable to contribute, iD is one of the best places to put your time in the OSM world.


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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

malenki
In reply to this post by Jo Walsh-3
Jo Walsh wrote:

>On the one hand I'm sorry to hear that communicating and fixing is a
>distraction from mapping for you,

I understand how he feels:
When I happen to correct a lot of stupid errors sometimes I feel like
there are a lot of stupid mappers. :)

>on the other you're starting to sound like a candidate member of the
>DWG ;) Maybe consider it, validating an activity you're pursuing
>anyway...

+1
(but not for me, thank you all the same (: )


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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

Michael Reichert
In reply to this post by tmcw
Hi,

Am 2015-02-11 um 17:25 schrieb Tom MacWright:
>> Unfortunately, experience suggests that there's relatively little that a
>> discussion on on the "talk" mailing list is going to be able to do here.
>
>
> This. Help with development or give productive feedback on the issue
> tracker. FUD around editors has been discussed to death and it's clear that
> writing more emails won't do anything.

The relation issue has been reported almost two years ago.

https://github.com/openstreetmap/iD/issues/1461

This fact makes me to suggest everyone, every newbie, not to use iD.
https://lists.openstreetmap.de/pipermail/stuttgart/2015-February/000526.html
(in German)

From my point of view, there is huge difference in opinion between iD
developers and the mappers who clean up after an iD mapper has damaged
something. There are some cases where the "Don't confuse the user by
popup warnings" (it seems that this is the development goal of iD) does
not work. Relations are an example.

https://github.com/openstreetmap/iD/blob/master/README.md says:
> It lets you do the most basic tasks while not breaking other people's
> data.

I can just laugh out loudly.

Best regards

Michael



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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

tmcw
That ticket doesn't have a difference of opinion: it has a core developer of iD offering to buy a cake for whoever contributes a fix. Nobody has contributed a fix: one would be accepted if it was contributed. Plus, we'd give that person a cake.

That isn't a difference of opinion: there's no opposition. There's encouragement and an offer of reward for help. There's limited time "the core developers" have to work on iD, and they accept snark and hatred when they do.

So no, that isn't a difference of opinion. It's a place where we need help and aren't getting it. Threads like this don't help.

On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 12:45 PM, Michael Reichert <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

Am 2015-02-11 um 17:25 schrieb Tom MacWright:
>> Unfortunately, experience suggests that there's relatively little that a
>> discussion on on the "talk" mailing list is going to be able to do here.
>
>
> This. Help with development or give productive feedback on the issue
> tracker. FUD around editors has been discussed to death and it's clear that
> writing more emails won't do anything.

The relation issue has been reported almost two years ago.

https://github.com/openstreetmap/iD/issues/1461

This fact makes me to suggest everyone, every newbie, not to use iD.
https://lists.openstreetmap.de/pipermail/stuttgart/2015-February/000526.html
(in German)

From my point of view, there is huge difference in opinion between iD
developers and the mappers who clean up after an iD mapper has damaged
something. There are some cases where the "Don't confuse the user by
popup warnings" (it seems that this is the development goal of iD) does
not work. Relations are an example.

https://github.com/openstreetmap/iD/blob/master/README.md says:
> It lets you do the most basic tasks while not breaking other people's
> data.

I can just laugh out loudly.

Best regards

Michael




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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

Serge Wroclawski-2
Folks,

This post doesn't represent the DWG in any way, but as someone who
does DWG work, and closely monitors his local area, I think I have a
bit of expertise in this area.

In my experience, iD users do not make any more mistakes than any
other editor in relative terms. In other words- if 80% of edits are
done in iD- then we should see 80% of mistakes by iD users. In my
experience, the kinds of editor errors that are being discussed
(deletion of objects, etc.) are not happening in a greater relative
quantity by iD users than any other editor- and for the kinds of
issues that the DWG gets involved in, eg edit wars and problematic
imports, JOSM users are by far the biggest problems.

The fact is that the amount of data issues we have with OSM users is
decreasing, not increasing. iD's tagging support makes things
generally better for the beginner and intermediate user.

We do have problems the things like addresses, splitting of features
and especially relations- but I'd argue that these are not the
editor's problems.

Addresses in OSM are confusing because we have so many different ways
to represent addresses (as attributes of a node, as attributes of a
building, as a raw node inside a building, as a relation, as an
associatedStreet, etc.), and relations are very complicated.

Multipolygon could be replaced with something like "area" as proposed
by Jochen, but until that happens, we're stuck with a very complex
data representation that's a pain to understand and an even bigger
pain to work with.

This is fundamental to the data model itself, and not the editor.

I'm not an iD user myself, and I do think that the developer/community
communication could be improved, but it's been a large net positive
for our project.

- Serge

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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

brycenesbitt
In reply to this post by tmcw
On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 8:47 AM, Tom MacWright <[hidden email]> wrote:
How is an open source project that was open source on day one, was publicly communicated from day one, heavily explained in time-consuming technical blog posts, has 77 contributors, and has accepted hundreds of pull requests "tightly held."

Read through the issue tracker: It's clear that issues reported are pushed back on by the core iD developers.  It's very "tightly held".
In terms of design ideas, it's particularly "tightly held" compared to comparable projects.  Saying it's not tight just does not match the record.

Beyond the tight control, iD is "opinionated" software.  That's more of an observation than a judgement by the way.  There's a particular focus on fulfillment of iD's funding mission to be an entry level editor, pulling "new mappers" into OSM.  That results in a particular aversion to introducing any sort of complexity, even when the underlying editing is complex.  I think that's not really working: iD instead leads new users down roads and into editing jobs they can't correctly complete.  iD could, but does not, help users identify interesting and fulfilling editing at the level of the user.  iD is helping to breed and support a class of mapper who is not integrated with, or in contact with, other similarly situated contributors.  It's really a missed opportunity.

A number of specific issues illustrate this point: among them the delete issue, and the relation deletion issue.  But it's deeper than those marquee subjects.  There's clearly some pretty deep differences in focus between iD developers focusing on maximizing raw input into the system, and "cleanup" style editors who are on the receiving end of those changes.

--

In short: pushing patches to the iD tracker won't help.
Making "time consuming technical blog posts" won't help if goals are out of alignment.
Cleanup-oriented editors have been unhappy with iD for a long time: and don't seem to feel respected by the iD core developers.

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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

brycenesbitt
In reply to this post by tmcw
On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 9:59 AM, Tom MacWright <[hidden email]> wrote:
That ticket doesn't have a difference of opinion: it has a core developer of iD offering to buy a cake for whoever contributes a fix. Nobody has contributed a fix: one would be accepted if it was contributed. Plus, we'd give that person a cake.

There are certain tasks where challenging people to supply a patch is almost like saying "no" softly.
This one feels like a core developer task, not a good candidate for a first timer patch.... yummy cake not withstanding.

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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

tmcw
There's no magic to working on iD: 77 people of varying skill levels have done it. It takes time. If this is important to you, I'd suggest you invest that time rather than ordering other people to.

On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 2:53 PM, Bryce Nesbitt <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 9:59 AM, Tom MacWright <[hidden email]> wrote:
That ticket doesn't have a difference of opinion: it has a core developer of iD offering to buy a cake for whoever contributes a fix. Nobody has contributed a fix: one would be accepted if it was contributed. Plus, we'd give that person a cake.

There are certain tasks where challenging people to supply a patch is almost like saying "no" softly.
This one feels like a core developer task, not a good candidate for a first timer patch.... yummy cake not withstanding.


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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

Mike N.
In reply to this post by brycenesbitt
On 2/11/2015 2:49 PM, Bryce Nesbitt wrote:
> Read through the issue tracker: It's clear that issues reported are
> pushed back on by the core iD developers.  It's very "tightly held".

  I disagree (not a developer here).  The interesting thing that came
out of this discussion is the realization that none of the key problems
that people are seeing have an outstanding pull request.   If the pull
request is rejected, then you have a point.


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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

Jo-2
We have been saying this from the very beginning, so it should have been taken into account right from the very start of development of iD.

Don't break other contributor's data should have been among the initial design goals. Don't bother the user with dialogs when they're about to break something should not be a design goal at all.

Odd that such an important item would have to be added in retrospect. Worse, it's absurd.

Polyglot

2015-02-11 21:15 GMT+01:00 Mike N <[hidden email]>:
On 2/11/2015 2:49 PM, Bryce Nesbitt wrote:
Read through the issue tracker: It's clear that issues reported are
pushed back on by the core iD developers.  It's very "tightly held".

 I disagree (not a developer here).  The interesting thing that came out of this discussion is the realization that none of the key problems that people are seeing have an outstanding pull request.   If the pull request is rejected, then you have a point.



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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

tmcw
Ever since 2012, in the second commit ever, "Not breaking other people's data" has been one of the three clearly stated public design goals of iD.


On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 4:00 PM, Jo <[hidden email]> wrote:
We have been saying this from the very beginning, so it should have been taken into account right from the very start of development of iD.

Don't break other contributor's data should have been among the initial design goals. Don't bother the user with dialogs when they're about to break something should not be a design goal at all.

Odd that such an important item would have to be added in retrospect. Worse, it's absurd.

Polyglot

2015-02-11 21:15 GMT+01:00 Mike N <[hidden email]>:
On 2/11/2015 2:49 PM, Bryce Nesbitt wrote:
Read through the issue tracker: It's clear that issues reported are
pushed back on by the core iD developers.  It's very "tightly held".

 I disagree (not a developer here).  The interesting thing that came out of this discussion is the realization that none of the key problems that people are seeing have an outstanding pull request.   If the pull request is rejected, then you have a point.



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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

brycenesbitt
On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 1:08 PM, Tom MacWright <[hidden email]> wrote:
Ever since 2012, in the second commit ever, "Not breaking other people's data" has been one of the three clearly stated public design goals of iD.

This goal does not appear to have been carried out.

The iD project comes off as tone deaf to breaking data concerns: Look at the uproar over issues of "breaking data".  Look at the core team response, which is mostly defensive posturing, not oriented to solutions.

Why has iD taken such a beating on the mailing list "breaking data" issues?  I don't think it's just anti-iD bias.

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Re: this has to stop: iD user mistakes all over the place

tmcw
We also aimed to have no bugs and like every software project before us, have failed to achieve that goal.

The uproar about iD is the same as the uproar about the map style, website, user groups, code of conduct, Steve Coast, the board, imports, license change, attribution, and practically everything else about OpenStreetMap. It's not anti-iD bias, of course. It's anti-everything bias.

On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 6:33 PM, Bryce Nesbitt <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 1:08 PM, Tom MacWright <[hidden email]> wrote:
Ever since 2012, in the second commit ever, "Not breaking other people's data" has been one of the three clearly stated public design goals of iD.

This goal does not appear to have been carried out.

The iD project comes off as tone deaf to breaking data concerns: Look at the uproar over issues of "breaking data".  Look at the core team response, which is mostly defensive posturing, not oriented to solutions.

Why has iD taken such a beating on the mailing list "breaking data" issues?  I don't think it's just anti-iD bias.

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