I just read yesterday's article "No time for OGF, what future for my countries" by joschi81, and this has raised a few questions to me.
I have been thinking about the question of "lost countries" and also about those undocumented reserved territories (white on the territory map ) that create a breach in the logic of the map since they're kept untouched on the map, but on the wiki pages they say "yeah, don't talk about lost countries, they don't exist and never existed", not mentioning when they don't even have pages at all.
And this is something I would like to ask admins about.
But if you regular users want to add comments, feel free.
Border issues with lost countries
For example: I (Älved) have a western border with what used to be Zanyzzix (now UL079), an almost empty country with some badly designed bits, and an eastern border with Latania, a "lost country" with very good mapping on its whole territory. I suppose Latania is kept "in memoriam" of the mapper, but it isn't neither collaborative nor has a contact person.
Zanyzzix has been turned to green and I suppose will be erased forever, but Latania is kept.
There is a ~ 30 km gap where it would be good to join the roads between Latania and Älved, but "Latania doesn't exist and never existed" although we keep it on the map.
Countries with undocumented status
Not to mention other white countries which are marked as "possibly a future collaborative territory" (or not), and in some cases are not empty and regularly edited, but we don't even know their name and what they are. Example: the big UL099 (with New Ayeli city) in the north. Or UL106 (russian-like) which is unnamed and no wiki entries are present. What are their names ? Why is there some mapping on them but their status is white, not orange ? Are they lost countries or not ? Should we consider them in the geopolitical stories of our countries ? How to proceed in case of issues ? For example, if we want to request something about a reserved territory :
in my case: completing the road gap with Latania, or erasing the inconsistent mapped bits on Zanyzzix/UL079 since that mapping bothered the Neberly guy too, as he told me in PM
or in joschi81's neighbours' case: what is the status of UL141, who is the person of contact if there is an issue about Kalm, Isztianorszag etc if joschi81 abandons them, etc.
...then who should we contact about that ? how admins are more likely to react ?
Last question: in case the mapper goes away without signaling and the mapping is not complete => wouldn't it be good to set a rule that after 1-2 years or so, an abandoned map (or part of it) will be turned to collaborative for all nearby active neighbours ? or marked for withdrawal, depending on the context ?
I suppose this choice is up to the admins for each different case, but clarifying this information in the wiki would be of good help.
To sum up my questions:
1) - some documentation about what the statuses of these white "reserved" countries really are, and how should we proceed in case of issues with them.
2) - after what time of inactivity would you consider a country as abandoned and on which criteria would you decide to change its status to either withdrawal, collaborative, reserved, or whatever else.
3) - don't you think that marking countries as "lost countries" in the wiki when you actually keep them on the map without planning to remove them is somewhat confusing ? (for example: Zanyzzix/UL079 is a lost country = logical, since you withdrew it; Latania is a lost country = illogical, since you kept it) It would be more logical to keep those like Latania out of the lost country list, having the option to keep them reserved or to turn them into collaborative one day, and thus avoid this confusion in the wiki.
Thanks for reading.
(Note to self: I should come back one day and write a diary entry about my country too 8-)