Proposal talk:Automated tasks

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bot prototype

Stale: Flaimo 13:12, 27 April 2011 (BST)

since i actually don't know on how to set up and write a bot on a database level, it would be great if a fellow OSM member, who knows how to do that, could set up a prototype bot for a small specific bbox for testing purposes. --Flaimo 01:08, 17 April 2011 (BST)

Bots are unhelpful and break things

Stale: Flaimo 13:12, 27 April 2011 (BST)

I think it is useful to tag things that are due to change sometime in the future. But I don't think changing these automatically with bots is a good idea (see Automated Edits/Code of Conduct). What if that predicted change is delayed, or cancelled for whatever reason? I know of plenty streets under construction, which have been delayed for months/years, or just seem to abandoned.

It would be much better to tag things which are due to change, with a (estimated) date. Then after this date has passed, they could be highlighted on a map/QA tool/in editors. So individual map editors can check if the construction has finished or whatever, then update the tags as appropriate. If still under construction, they could update the date of change to sometime in the future. --Vclaw 22:09, 17 April 2011 (BST)

don't get hanged up on the road construction example. there are plenty of other possibilities where this could be used. if you don't know the exact date, when something changes, than don't create an automated task for it, but if you do know, than nothing speaks against it. otherwise mappers would need to start writing everything down in a calendar and then manually enter the changes at the times they occur.
also just tagging something with fixme="inspect in 2 months" is already possible now. its great for areas with a high density of mappers with local knowledge, but not really a help in the middle of nowhere where there aren't any local mappers. also when bots break something, than because the author didn't think things through for corner cases. this case however is different. the bot would do exactly what the mapper requested for. the responsibility shifts from the bot creator to the mapper. --Flaimo 23:52, 17 April 2011 (BST)


Stale: Flaimo 13:12, 27 April 2011 (BST)

one aspect of automated tasks that is not covered in the proposal is security and potential missuse of the tags. any thoughts on that? --Flaimo 18:35, 19 April 2011 (BST)

semi automatic bot

One could imagine the following. A way to add future changes as described in the proposal and when somebody downloads an area with such future changes, they get a message in their editor of choice: Somebody added changes which couldn't be applied back then. Do you want to apply them now? Then they say yes and all the modifications are selected (I'm thinking of JOSM now), so they can verify right away what will get changed. If they don't want the changes to be applied, they simply do Ctrl-Z and the question will be referred to the next user downloading that particular area.

If done this way, an extra pair of eyes can check the validity of the changes. It might still take a while before they actually get applied though...

--Polyglot 15:30, 24 April 2011 (BST)

that would work, if that area gets reviewed regularly and that again only works if there are enough mappers in that area. but as the premise of this proposal states out, it is meant for situations where this is explicitly NOT the case. if i know that some element will change at a certain time and you also know, that nobody will be there at that time to do the changes, why shouldn't that be done automatically? in such cases an additional review process is just a waste of the other mappers time, besides the fact that the element will have outdated information until the review. and if something was mapped wrongly by an automated task it will be changed by other mappers anyway.
if review hints is what you want, you already can use the fixme tag or use openstreetbugs and add a bug, that someone should reinspect that element. --Flaimo 19:40, 24 April 2011 (BST)
In that case you would either need support for this in the database, maybe with stored procedures or triggers. Done like that, there would be no extra review. (Opening the door for malicious postponed edits). Alternatively, you would need contributors who regularly download an area with XAPI, looking for your tags, who would check their validity and then apply them.
--Polyglot 22:00, 25 April 2011 (BST)