Restructure wiki page key:name?

Names are a fundamental concept of language. Their use is so commonplace that we are not even aware of their many meanings. So it seems hardly surprising that the restriction of the key “name” to proper names is so often overlooked in OSM.

In the wiki, two articles deal with the name: the main article names and the key definition key:name. Both articles are very extensive with 29k characters and 18k characters respectively. The readability is not good due to the length alone, whereby the main article - despite its greater length - actually performs better because it is clearer and more consistent in its core statements.

Do you really need so many words to understand the principle, couldn’t it be shorter? I think so, the essentials should be able to be summarised on 1-2 screen pages.

The two articles are then no longer independent of each other, but complement each other. The article “key:name” briefly and concisely describes the essentials, while the main article names describes the precise overall picture in all its facets.

Issues key:name

Readability, redundancy, clarity.
For details see my blog post.



  • Focus article key:name on the essentials,
    maximum text volume 1 to 2 screen pages
  • Intensive integration of the main article by means of references
  • Pay attention to translatability


Change to the scope of meaning of the key “name”, neither restricting nor expanding. Reference is the main article names.


The implementation via the discussion page of key:name has failed - too few participants and too little support. The discussion here is intended to show a broader picture of opinions about the readability of the key:name article.

If opinions are in favour of restructuring, the next step will be to work out the text. This text proposal should give you an idea of the goal.

… and you?

What is your opinion: do you think the proposed restructuring makes sense?

3 posts - 3 participants

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