Monthly Archives: May 2004

Server Updates

Changes mainly of interest to MusicBrainz Users

Votes on open moderations are no longer as “aggressively hidden” as they
used to be.  Now you can always see the voting on any mod, regardless
of status etc, by going to the Moderation Detail
page.  On the main voting pages
you’ll only not be able to see the vote counts as long as you haven’t voted;
as soon as you vote (or when the mod closes, or if it’s your mod anyway)
then the vote counts are shown.

All URLs in moderation notes are now hyperlinked, not just ones that link to
other MusicBrainz pages.  See
it
in
action
(Technically there are limitations to this – only http, https and ftp URLs
are detected, and finding where the URL ends is a bit of a fuzzy science -
but it gets it right most of the time).

From now on, whenever you add a note to a moderation, you’ll get mailed all
future notes added to that moderation.  If you don’t like this new
behaviour, you can disable it via a new preference.  In that case
you’ll only get mailed notes which were added to your own mods.

Each entry in the Style Guide is now “linkable”,
so you can refer style guide entries to other users just by posting a link.

For new Tagger users, it’s now much more obvious that you have to copy your
username / password into the relevant part of the “Options” window.

Previously it was possible to add artists, albums etc with trailing
whitespace in their names.  This caused problems with artists
especially, where the name is meant to be unique.  The system now tries
much harder to remove such whitespace before the data is written to the
database.  As a one-off exercise for this release, all
trailing-whitespace data should now have been removed.

Previously, strange side-effects could have occurred in various places if the
names of artists, etc. contained the “_” or “%” characters.  These
potential side-effects have now been fixed.

The Top Moderators page has been revamped; the
moderator names listed there are now links to their profile pages.

On the Browse Releases page, there is now
a “title” attribute (which in most browsers is shown as a “tooltip”) which
shows the track, disc id and TRM id counts for each release.

If there is an error when adding a track, previously the system just
reported “Error”.  Now it shows you the full error message, as
originally intended.

Changes mainly of interest to MusicBrainz Programmers

The TRM “gateway” on the server has now been reimplemented in
mod_perl.  For the most part this shouldn’t make much difference to
you; but it does mean for example that you can use any URL at
trm.musicbrainz.org,
and that we can get
better
statistics
on use of the signature server. 
There are also some new “special” TRMs
which can be returned to indicate various exceptional conditions.

New and Changed Documentation

The documentation for the client
and TunePimp have been
extended and reorganised.

Changes mainly of interest to MusicBrainz Server Programmers

Replication

The server now supports one-way data replication, for most (but not all)
tables.  (The tables excluded are the moderation and moderator tables
- nine tables in all).  The replication is based on the “dbmirror” code
contributed to the Postgres codebase.

Every hour, the ExportAllTables script
runs and exports the changed rows into a “replication packet” file (a
compressed “tar” file).  Those files are then made available on our
FTP site
Every so often (for example, once a week) a complete database export is
run, and this too is made available on our FTP site.  By initially
importing one of these full databases (minus the moderation tables),
then applying each replication packet, a slave database can keep up-to-date
with the master.

The RDF Dump

We no longer perform regular RDF exports (the “mbdump.rdf.bz2″ file). 
The script which did the exports still exists, however.  If you want RDF
then one way to do it would be to set yourself up as a Postgres mirror, and
run the RDF export script against your database.

Installation

The "cron" scripts
have been rewritten; they are now configured via
config.sh, and the
INSTALL file now mentioned the existence of
these scripts.

Other Changes

Text::Unaccent version 1.05 couldn’t handle non-string data safely
(including “undef”).  We’re now running a patched version of this
module; the relevant patch is available on our FTP site.

There is a new “cleanup” script,
UnusedTracks;
some old scripts have been removed.

Various database write operations have been moved into more appropriate places
in the code, as have some read operations.  Lots of SQL has been
rewritten, and some unused methods have been removed from
Sql.pm.

Mail.pm
now complains and shows the error message in the event of failure. 
There were miscellaneous HTML fixes. 
Cache.pm
was changed to allow false values; “remove” was renamed to “delete”.

Bugs and RFEs Closed

Dave Evans