Kilkenni has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
Crimea dispute over 1 year ago

Sounds sensible. I already participate in the discussion over “disputed territories” proposal and encourage you to do the same. Your input is highly welcome.

Oh, and please, get well :)

Ad hominem over 1 year ago


I believe what tkk meant was that OSM data is used by commercial companies, and there are companies that turned using OSM data into a business of its own (like Geofabrik or Mapbox). Moreover, many companies not only use the data but contribute back to the project, like providing hardware for running tile servers, programming (Google conducted a summer of code to help develop some OSM tools) etc. Also, corporate OSMF members and corporate representatives on the Advisory board.

Mind you, that’s not a bad thing. It is beneficial for both the companies (as many see this activity as “work for public good”, which it is in my humble opinion) and OSM (as our membership fee alone is not enough to keep the hamster running). However this is also dangerous if we make ambiguous decisions on the future of OSM.

@tkk Thanks for your support. I don’t think I can explain the pain and danger of war to someone who’s never seen it firsthand. I know I’m harsh sometimes, but that is one of the effects of personal experience in this case. I know how this media propaganda machine works on my own home region, how it shatters families and uses every chance to incite hatred. Seeing how DWG exposes OSM for it is… difficult.

I am currently participating in proposal discussions on disputed borders, and I suggest all the others to do the same. If DWG can’t do its work properly, it’s up to us to resolve this in a civilized and productive way.

Ad hominem over 1 year ago

@Adamant1 >Its not giving them any sort of win by making the map this way though.

Except it does. You are not familiar with Russian propaganda. They are already using it to state that the world recognizes Crimea. They are not interested in disclaimers about DWG’s “non-political” stance, nor are most of the people. And by telling us to explain that to millions of people DWG is shifting responsibility from itself on us.

We should honor their decisions even if we might disagree with them.

Why? They are common people, just like us. Their position alone does not make them more qualified.

It will probably be forgotten in a short time like every other controversy anyway.

Sorry to ruin your mood, but many people tend to say that about the war we have on our hands for the last 4 years. That it will “dissipate” on its own. WW2 didn’t just “dissipate”, nor will this war. Just so with this case. We can’t forbid OSM use Leaflet, but its author already regrets making it for OSM. This is a showcase situation. DWG’s intentions could be good, but the results are threatening - we tend to call such people useful idiots (no insult intended).

its better then letting an endless edit war happen

The problem is, Andy and Frederik are the opposing side in this “edit war”, while “true” moderators should maintain neutrality.

There is no such thing as one exception.

I totally agree. That’s why we also oppose this decision. We either use “ground truth” rule for every disputed territory (and drown in conflicts, tearing the community apart and ruining the project in the process) or find a compromise that every side will follow.

DWG did not even try to find a compromise here, and they prefer bans to talking things over. In my opinion, it’s not what I would call ‘productive’.

Ad hominem over 1 year ago

Oh, and for the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, please, can someone tell Andy Townsend and Frederik Ramm that Russia did not annex Ukraine. I’m tired of seeing that in the blocking comments.

You may dream about Russia annexing Ukraine privately, but please, do not share your dreams with us.

Ad hominem over 1 year ago

Not sure. Adding “ad hominem” labels tends to cheapen the argument. Maybe limited attacks on a person are perfectly valid in case when a person acts from a position of physical power. I mean, if we entrust a banhammer to a man, we should be pretty sure he is a decent one in terms of following and applying rules, right?

#CrimeaІsUkraine #DWG #CrimeaMap #КримЦеУкраїна #ИхТамНет over 1 year ago

@redsteakraw “If anyone would go to Crimea they would be subject to Russian law”

And if that “anyone” goes outside of Crimea he will be subject to laws of other nations as well as international ones. I can’t help but wonder why are you so preoccupied with Russian laws and conveniently ignore all the others.

For example, Crimean ports are off-limits to any foreign ship. If a captain decides to visit it, he will be prosecuted (except in case he wants to spend the rest of his life in Russia). Any big company dealing in Crimea risks facing sanctions; that’s why big Russian banks don’t open their offices in Crimea, and Aeroflot went as far as creating a “separate” flight operator for Crimean direction to avoid being sued. Siemens is being sued for providing power turbines for Crimea as we speak.

As for “protecting borders with Russian military”, we had the chance to see them in action less than a week ago when a bunch of coastal guard ships supported by assault copters and SU-30 fighters attacked and seized 3 Ukrainian ships in international waters. Nice work protecting borders, yeah.

Neutral ground over 1 year ago

*a word

Neutral ground over 1 year ago

@Mateusz Konieczny If you need a work for describing recognized illegal physical control, it is called occupation (in case of Donbass) and annexation (in case of Crimea).

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I never doubted annexation. But I believe it should be tagged separately as this territory is not within national borders, so it isn’t related to a “boundary” tag.

OSM wiki mentions that countries are defined as such according to UN decisions. I wonder why would one map national borders contrary to UN decisions.

Neutral ground over 1 year ago

@escada I agree that previous resolution was not ideal, especially in database integrity sense. I appeal to it only due to the fact that it worked as a “truce” for 4 years, and DWG should have threaded very carefully around it. If only they started open discussion and helped to work out a better compromise prior to making their decision, I believe none of this would ever happen. I outlined this lack of transparency and communication in my 1st diary post as one of the major problems contributing to the conflict. The way it was done, it looked like abusing their power and wrapping community around the finger.

@rorym Will look into it. Meanwhile, consider reading this proposal. Maybe this will give you some ideas what to improve (or not).

Neutral ground over 1 year ago

More accurately, it is equivocation. Since we deal with Russian propaganda on a daily basis and it constantly uses this kind of manipulation among others, it triggers mental warning markers almost instantly.

Neutral ground over 1 year ago

@Mateusz Konieczny Certainly not. I never questioned de-facto Russian occupation and control.

It is Andy’s understanding of what “international recognition” means that troubles me: >Currently, we record one set that, in OpenStreetMap contributor opinion, is most widely internationally recognised and best meets realities on the ground, generally meaning physical control”. In this case I think that it is internationally recognised that Russia currently has control of Crimea.

Internationally recognized =/= internationally recognized physical control. First is a common term from the legal documents concerning borders, it is explained in detail in Wikipedia and mentioned in the policy. Second is something Andy invented by knowingly misinterpreting the policy to prove his claim. There is no such concept.

Neutral ground over 1 year ago

@Mateusz Konieczny

I said “accomplice” because with the current transparency of DWG (or, more accurately, lack of it) he is the only public spokesperson we have. He claims he speaks for DWG, he drops bans while explicitly stating he acts on behalf of the DWG as a whole.

I don’t say he acts knowingly in Russia’s support, but he outright misinterprets the policy to support his claim (see my previous diary post). For me, it is accusatory enough. I am not going to argue with a person who lies in my face. It looks like either mind-blowing ignorance or corruption, and I’m not sure which of these is worse.

For me it’s either questioning Andy Townsend’s actions or applying collective responsibility (since they chose Andy to be their spokesperson and denied our requests for a voting log) and questioning DWG as a whole. I am not ready to drop the benefit of doubt for all of them without giving them the opportunity to explain the situation. Especially if we consider that of 12 members, only 9 were present when the voting took place.

I hope I am wrong in my assumptions. Trust me, I’d be enormously relieved if that was the case.

Neutral ground over 1 year ago

“Threatening”? “Discuss policy”?

I don’t think you understand what’s going on. DWG violated their own policy, triggering a community conflict. Shortly, Russian propaganda starts implying changes in OSM mean “OpenStreetMaP finally accepts the truth”. Now, one week after it, Russia shoots at our ships, wounds our soldiers, captures our military vessels and claims they broke “Russian border”. And the only map that shows such border is in OSM.

On top of that, on Friday one of our own is asked to clarify the stance of Ukrainian community in media. And one day later someone calls his family and threatens it. Once again. Someone calls his real family. And threatens it.

Sorry if I am feeling just a little bit on edge.

My thoughts on recent actions of DWG over 1 year ago

Yep, Andy Townsend continues to ban Ukrainian OSM contributors who do not agree with DWG’s decision. Nice work “helping mappers to communicate better”, Andy. Do you really think you can block all of us? Maybe it is time to question not just the decision, but your presence in DWG as well.

My thoughts on recent actions of DWG over 1 year ago

@Zverik I might agree with you on “finger-pointing”, but that makes the situation even worse. If we don’t identify who is personally responsible then the whole structure (DWG and OSMF as the body that formed them) will be held responsible.

Andy Townsend already writes that his actions represent the stance of DWG as a whole. That means that DWG as a whole is exposed for blows. As most of DWG members did not express their stance on the matter in public, I give them the benefit of the doubt. We should not accuse people without giving them the right to defend themselves and clear the situation.

The damage is done, but I still believe this whole mess can be fixed internally. The information already leaks into the press, I’ve seen several publications already. The window of opportunity will not always be there.

DWG and OSMF need to understand that from the moment they took their positions they are public persons not unlike politicians. Their actions will be scrutinized whether they want it or not. That comes with the title, and that is what I mean when I mention responsibility.

DWG authority on decisions over territorial disputes over 1 year ago

@Mourner Aww shucks. May I print this comment and hang it on the wall?

Seriously tho, I’m not alone, and that immensely helps. People working together transform into something utterly awesome :)

DWG authority on decisions over territorial disputes over 1 year ago

@redsteakraw If rules are about physical force, consider this. OSM consists of separate people. OSMF (and DWG) has no physical power over OSM contributors, but contibutors DO have power over OSMF and DWG. I have already seen Vladimir Agafonkin (author of Leaflet) suggesting reforming DWG entirely as a structure that discredited itself completely by this decision. Believe me, he is not alone in his thoughts.

Controlling any structure (including OSM or a national state), governing it, is based on two things, legality (laws or rules) and legitimacy (if others are accepting your decisions). If you are illegal, you can’t make decisions. If you are illegitimate, people won’t follow your decisions. This is why discussing things in public and reaching some kind of common ground in OSM is so important.

As @Tomas Straupis outlined, there are several ways to present Crimea on the map. I supported previous decision of 2014 because it was generally accepted as a compromise by both Russian and Ukrainian communities. It wasn’t ideal but it had public support, and public support meant most people were ready to follow it. Current decision provokes a conflict, and it is in direct contradiction to DWG’s purpose to stop conflicts. I’ve seen entire communities ruined by similar conflicts, and that is not what I want for OSM.

DWG authority on decisions over territorial disputes over 1 year ago


Comparing countries and judicial systems as a whole and terrorists is a bold claim, thank you very much. I highly value freedom, believe me. But if we enter the realm of personal views (as you did), I believe that freedom also means responsibility and understanding consequences.

As a person, I can ignore any laws I wish and deal with it. My life is my own. But when I’m within a structure such as OSM, my actions leave a mark on others, including those outside OSM. I can’t ignore that and keep imagining I’m tinkering with my own little isolated project.

Welcome to our digital era, enjoy your stay :)

DWG authority on decisions over territorial disputes over 1 year ago

@redsteakraw First of all, “ground truth” offers room for interpretation. I am sure it can be applied to whether a physical object is present in particular place or not. National border is a political construct, not a tree or a building, or an address plate. DWG may claim that they are above politics, but when they decide over a political issue, they are involved in politics whether they understand it or not. OSM reputation and worldwide usage is not directly political, but it is related to politics.

Next, “ground truth” is an inner concept of OSM. As @Tomas Straupis notes, it would not have much weight in court. I have no idea if DWG consulted the legal team about possible consequences. As Tomas mentioned in the OSMF_talks,

“While there are some talks about using OSM instead or alongside of commercial GIS solutions in the context of EU INSPIRE directive, such intentions will be seriously damaged by OSMF/DWG actions”

I previously had no information on that, but this decision greatly harms our work (and my work in particular) in Ukraine for popularizing OSM in electronic government initiative and NGOs. I could hardly explain the previous decision of DWG to the officials as a compromise, and now DWG came and knocked the remaining ground from under me.

“Attempting to discredit the DWG to force them to change their statement into something you see more favorable politically is not an appropriate approach.”

@imagico I cannot discredit them more than they already did. OSM data is © by the OSM community, not DWG. And, as @Tomas mentioned, their method of work via forum topic did not look like an attempt to communicate. They asked about factual data. While this is important to make a correct decision, it is not enough. We were never asked about our arguments, moreover, if you scroll through the Ukrainian topic most of us suggested not touching the previous decision at all (we did NOT ask to change it in our favor), and our “peaceful and mature” voice was simply ignored by the DWG. We are learning from our mistakes. From the comments I see that our “peaceful and mature” position, and toned down arguments on the previous DWG decision were also mistaken for silent acceptance. It is time to change tactics, then.

“as i explained you so far failed to sufficiently take into account the full spectrum of such cases and picking just a few ones that might seem to support your position is not ultimately very convincing” @imagico I see your point, but I did not talk about Africa because I don’t know the situation there.

As I’ve mentioned before, Crimean resolution is the only one published by DWG, and I suppose that it is the only resolution they made about such cases at all. Maybe there are more resolutions deep in OSMF-talks. Which is itself is a highly inefficient method of publishing decisions, and if that is the case, that is part of what I was talking about when I was talking transparency.

“While your statement of opinion in the diary entry is ok and as i said i think it is good you make it the attacks in your comment (delusion etc.), which serve no purpose in argument but are clearly just aiming to insult without arguments, are not.” @imagico Yes, I tend to sound a bit harsh to the taste of some. That’s why I focused on describing arguments and logic in the diary. Comments for me are a more informal ground where you and I (and everyone else, ofc) are allowed to show more emotion and vent their feelings. Won’t deny I am frustrated and disappointed. I am merely a human after all ¯\(°_o)/¯

DWG authority on decisions over territorial disputes over 1 year ago

“This does not mean there is no armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia but it is quite definitely not currently about the de facto control over Crimea.”

Yes and no. If you’re interested, I can describe it further in the comments, but that was not the point here. You are right, there are lots of conflicts, they have simularities as well as differences. I may have not phrased it very well. The context is important. What I’ve meant was “when there is a war between disputing factions, you can’t rule in favor of one and expect the other to simply obey”.

“And you are definitely wrong with stating that the DWG does not act within its mandate when making such statements.”

DWG has the mandate we as a community give them to. No more, no less. If it isn’t set in paper (and it isn’t as far as I’m aware), it is what we make it to be. Perhaps by some mistake they have decided otherwise. This delusion can be rectified. If they are not satisfied with a compromise they had, I’d see them deal with an all-out war on their hands. The truce was fragile, but it was enforced on both ends. Until now. What they do here is trying to kill a half-extinguished flame with a bucket of kerosene. I thought their mission was to stop edit wars, not start them.

When I was talking about transparency, what I meant was, we didn’t get to see the discussion or participate in it. I believe in rules and laws, and those are agreed upon, not dispersed from the top down. To get people to follow you, you need to convince them. We don’t know how they work, and it isn’t very convincing. Especially if you consider that this entire proposed change was triggered by a single person whose motives are unclear.