Proposed features/ban deprecated tags

From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Discouraging the use of deprecated schemes
Status: Inactive (inactive)
Proposed by: Valor Naram
Applies to:
Definition: Banning/discouraging the use of deprecated schemes
Drafted on: 2021-03-17

Scope of this proposal

We all know the following box on the top of some wiki pages describing old tagging schemes where newer improved ones exist in place:

exclamation mark

This feature has been labeled as deprecated. The recommended replacement is: changing_table=*.
The reason is documented in Deprecated features. You are still free to continue to use or interpret this tag as you see fit since OpenStreetMap does not have “banned features”.
Under no circumstances should you (semi-)automatically change “deprecated” tags to something else in the database on a large scale without conforming to the Automated Edits code of conduct. Any such change will be reverted.

Taken from Key:diaper wiki page.

This proposal questions the sentence "You are still free to continue to use or interpret this tag as you see fit since OpenStreetMap does not have “banned features”." and wants it removed or reworded to fit the interest of this proposal. This proposal does not question the philosophy "any tag you like" completely but it questions the allowed use of "deprecated tags where a newer one exists" which is not explicitly discouraged.

This proposal wants to discourage the use of schemes in case they have been labeled as deprecated and replacements have been found for them. As an example that's the case for Key:diaper. Again: It won't hurt the "any tags you like" so much or at all since it is already an applied practice of OSM software to pinpoint users to newer schemes and they accept that behaviour of OSM software.

And nothing else this proposal will do. It strikes to "prohibit new entries being made with the old key" (Cited from Anonymous but said in another context). It mustn't be done by a strict ban but it can be done by discouraging "new entries [from] being made with the old key"(Cited from Anonymous but said in another context).

Pro arguments

  • Key:diaper has been flagged deprecated. It would be complete nonsense to use it because no data customer will process that key, nor will convert it to something usable. So that entry ends up in the database for nothing and no other mapper will understand what the key is all about because the vast majority does not know it but know its replacement Key:changing_table. In fact: The mapper tagging with that key did not do any useful improvements to the database. Rewording: "It's important to be able to deprecate an old tagging scheme [and discourage its use] when a replacement is proposed and accepted." (Cited from Anonymous)

Con arguments

  • You cannot prohibit new entries being made with the old key
  • It restricts "any tags you like" philosophy to only inventing new tags, developing existing ones. This proposal prevents "any tags you like" philosophy from being applied to deprecated schemes as well.


Statements about the Cons

You cannot prohibit new entries being made with the old key

That's right but that is also not the intention of this proposal. This proposal wants the community to discourage the use of deprecated schemes.

It restricts "any tags you like" philosophy to only inventing new tags, developing existing ones. This proposal prevents "any tags you like" philosophy from being applied to deprecated schemes as well.

That's definitely right but it doesn't hurt much and most probably won't care about this restriction anyway. Most mappers use new schemes because

  1. they want other people/data customers to be able to understand what kind of data they added
  2. they get recommendations from the OSM software e.g. JOSM or iD to use the new scheme
  3. they probably don't know the old one
  4. they want to see their data entered into OSM being used by others

Proposal of the rewording of the deprecated feature box

Version 1

This feature has been labeled as deprecated. The recommended replacement is: changing_table=*.

The reason is documented in Deprecated features. It is highly discouraged but not disallowed to use this feature for new data uploaded. Under no circumstances should you (semi-)automatically change “deprecated” tags to something else in the database on a large scale without conforming to the Automated Edits code of conduct. Any such change will be reverted.

Version 2

This feature has been labeled as deprecated. The recommended replacement is: changing_table=*.

The reason is documented in Deprecated features. It is highly discouraged to use or interpret this tag but not forbidden since OpenStreetMap does not have “banned features”. Under no circumstances should you (semi-)automatically change “deprecated” tags to something else in the database on a large scale without conforming to the Automated Edits code of conduct. Any such change will be reverted.