On Thu 17 Dec 2009, Dominic Hargreaves <dom(a)earth.li> wrote:
I think that there is a clash of different
philosophies here, to some extent.
On the one hand, while I see the benefit of a well-looked-after wiki, I
try and stick to the idea that there is not much on a wiki that is actively
harmful, and that as long as the context is clear, out of date information
is better than nothing.
I do agree that under many circumstances out-of-date information is
better than nothing. You'll see that the vegan guide to Oxford is
still up, despite being a decade out of date, and that's because
people specifically asked me not to take it down. I also agree that
the context needs to be clear - this is why on RGL we're moving
towards being somewhat fanatical about dating things, stating our
sources, etc. Even though RGL is actively maintained, London is so
big that it's not really possible to go round and re-check things even
Maybe that's just my coping strategy for the
situation that the
Oxford Guide's in where something that's used up so much of my
energy over the years is looking a little shabby round the edges due
to me running out of steam, even though others do still contribute.
The Oxford Guide looks fine to me, FWIW. Oxford is nowhere near as
rapidly-changing as London (this is actually part of the reason I
moved from Oxford to London in the first place).
It doesn't seem that we can really compete on a
technical level with the
current state of the art in web-based presentation of the geo-ful content
we're interested nowadays - I come across sites that do better every week
- but that doesn't mean that there isn't still a niche there waiting to be
From the perspective of a person wanting to write about
the city they
live in, OpenGuides is still the best solution in my opinion. I
think of anything else that would let me organise my data so well (not
just geodata, but the categories too).
(I also wonder whether we can completely start again
OpenGuides codebase and come up with something which competes in the
web2.0 space, but I don't think I will ever have the time or energy
to drive that myself).
I wouldn't be against a rewrite. I wouldn't be up for driving it, but
I would be happy to hack on it. Having said that, I think my main
frustration with the current state of OpenGuides is the interface,
specifically the all-or-nothing Google map plotting. I would like to
have a slideable map that loaded pointers on-the-fly, and that I could
ask to include only pubs, pubs+Chinese restaurants, etc.
All of that doesn't really address the specific
points you made about the
London guide, but on the other hand I do wonder to what extent you consider
the other linked-to (from http://openguides.org
) guides to be in a similar
state. A lot of them never even took off.
I don't know the other cities well enough to judge their guides - I
can only really comment on Oxford, Cambridge, and London. I think the
Oxford and Cambridge guides are fine.
But should we take it down altogether? I don't
feel able to; as custodians
of community provided data we should try and keep it relevant and useful,
but if we can't do that shouldn't we at least retain it so that the useful
parts are still accessible?
I have trouble finding any useful parts in it, to be honest.
I do get your point about community-provided data - it _is_ generally
somewhat unethical to solicit data from people, give them the impression
that their data is safe, and then remove their access to it - but the
reason I brought this up at the time when I did bring it up is that I'm
not sure there's anyone left who actually cares about OGL's data.