Server update, 2015-08-24

Today’s release contains only bug-fixes. We’ve fixed an issues with “downvoted” tags being lost after a merge, and made release label edits more robust when the related releases or labels are merged. The git tag is v-2015-08-24 and the changelog is below.

Bug

  • [MBS-3867] – Edit release label fails prerequisite when labels are merged
  • [MBS-8462] – Webservice can create tags with upper-case letters
  • [MBS-8505] – Up/down vote for tags that contains uppercase letters updates a lowercase version of that tag
  • [MBS-8515] – Can’t edit or add entities related to an URL
  • [MBS-8516] – Relationships used as documentation examples can’t be merged
  • [MBS-8517] – Internal server error loading /ws/2/collection?fmt=json
  • [MBS-8518] – Edit release label edits get stuck after the release is merged
  • [MBS-8524] – Merging entities can corrupt tags up/down-votes
  • [MBS-8528] – Trying to search for an example to add to a relationship type gives “Lookup failed: Not Acceptable”
  • [MBS-8529] – compile_resources.sh: Error: ENOENT, no such file or directory ‘/home/i18n/musicbrainz-server/po/javascript.<lang>.po’

Server update, 2015-08-10

This is mostly a bug-fix release, with one important note for people running their own server:

A longstanding issue with versions of MooseX::Role::Parameterized greater than 1.02 has been fixed, and now version 1.03 or greater is required. If you’re using cpanm as INSTALL.md suggests, running cpanm MooseX::Role::Parameterized will get the latest version. If you’re using the new VM, sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get upgrade will install the latest packaged dependencies from our PPA repository.

Thanks to all who contributed to today’s release. The git tag is v-2015-08-10 and the changelog is below.

Bug

  • [MBS-8495] – Lieder archive has moved to lieder.net
  • [MBS-8498] – Entities in a collection not mergeable
  • [MBS-8499] – Entities in a collection not removed when empty
  • [MBS-8501] – Work edit form is broken because document.currentScript is not available in all supported browsers
  • [MBS-8502] – Cookies are no longer persistent
  • [MBS-8507] – Duplicate checking code can prevent editing existing entity
  • [MBS-8514] – Work credits’ AC cannot be removed nor edited

Improvement

  • [MBS-2477] – Relationship edits should track merges

Area editing, part I: How did we wind up here?

First, where is “here”?

The current MB-area landscape looks pretty bleak. The data is incomplete, and adding new data is a hassle.

To add an area, you need to:

  1. Create an account on tickets.musicbrainz.org.
  2. Make a ticket to request that the new area is added.
  3. Wait for an area editor to do the rest, and judging by the backlog that might happen sometime between “in a long time” and “never”.

Where did area_bot go? Why are there so few area editors? Why isn’t somebody trying to improve the situation? In short, how did we wind up here? To understand that, we need to look at where we’ve been.

Where did we start out?

By design, areas were meant to be added by area_bot, pulling data from Wikidata. The workflow would look something like this:

  • If area_bot made a mistake, there would be a handful of editors who could correct it by editing areas manually.
  • If the bot missed an area in Wikidata, you could either:
    • (if it didn’t already have a valid “type) improve the Wikidata entry, or
    • (if it did have a valid “type”) ask nikki to tweak area_bot, so that it would recognize more types.

And that worked. Sort of. For a while.

How did we get so far off course?

At some point, things started to go wrong. While I didn’t see it firsthand, what I’ve been told is this: rather than ask nikki to add more area types to area_bot’s white-list, some editors started adding incorrect area types on Wikidata, types which area_bot already recognized. So, the area would be added to MusicBrainz, but at the expense of Wikidata.

At this point, communication broke down. Area_bot was taken offline (to discourage low-quality Wikidata edits), but very little was done to explain the situation to users. This lack of communication became a larger problem than areas themselves, because it kept us from fixing the problem.

So what’s the plan?

Broadly, the first steps are:

  1. Improve overall communication within the project, as is being discussed in Rob’s recent blog posts.
  2. Make a long-term plan for areas and how they should be edited
  3. Possibly open up area editing to more people, based on what’s decided in step #2.

My next post, Area editing, part II, will go into more detail about step #2.

New MusicBrainz server virtual machine available

Time to check the weather forecast for hell, because it appears to have frozen over! We have finally released a new Virtual Machine that contains all of the MusicBrainz server software and fixed all of the currently outstanding bugs (for the VM).

The new VM now uses a 64-bit architecture and has 80GB of disk-space so it should be much easier to get along with. I tried to ship one VM that has the search indexes build in, but after 3 hours (and increasing time) of trying to export that VM I killed it. If someone has better luck exporting a VM after building search indexes, please let me know. Also, VirtualBox seems to have improved in stability on Mac OS, so we are not going to build a VMWare version of the VM at this time.

All the details for the new VM are on our Server Setup page.

Remember to get your Live Data Feed access token here if you plan to use the replication.

New Community Manager: Freso

Hello Brainzers!

Following up on the last post, I am now hired as the “MetaBrainz Community Manager”. This means that you should see me far more often in the forums, here on the blog, and on IRC. Just kidding. Like I could be more active on IRC than I already am! :D

My overall tasks are outlined in the job description (link is one of the last drafts, final version is slightly different and will be put up on metabrainz.org Soon™), and my concrete here-and-now tasks are outlined on this Trello board. For right now I’m mostly “settling in”, getting my various tools set up and familiarising myself with them, catching up on blog comments and forum posts, etc., etc. – once all that is done, expect to hear more from me about my plans with this new title and its responsibility. Until then, feel free to catch me on IRC or comment below if you have any questions or comments. Looking forwards to (continue) working with you all!

Love,
Freso, your new friendly neighbourhood Community Manager <3

Creating a paid community manager position

I’m slowly sifting through the community feedback comments and I’m increasingly falling behind in my tasks for managing MusicBrainz and all of the projects of the MetaBrainz Foundation. It has become clear that I need help in managing the community and not just help for software engineering or system administration. Thankfully one person came to mind when I started looking for help! Our own Freso has been active in MusicBrainz for over 9 years, so he knows his way around and is used to my abuse:

BDFL on Freso

More importantly, Freso manages to keep his cool when things get heated. He’s attended and supported our summits and he understands MusicBrainz and communities. I’m working with Freso to define his position and determine the appropriate pay level — we’ve moved past the stage where private issues were settled and are now ready to take this job description public.

So far, we’ve created this document to describe this new position. Please take a look — anyone can comment on the document. We’ll take comments and attempt to answer/integrate/respond to your feedback.

Once this job description is done and we’re happy with it, I will need to get board approval to create this new position. Fortunately for us, the new revenue from our new MetaBrainz site will cover the costs of having Freso as a paid member of our team.

Going forward, I plan to publish a list of people who are paid by the MetaBrainz Foundation, including their job descriptions. The above document will then be moved to the MetaBrainz site.

Happy weekend everyone!

Server update, 2015-07-27

Today’s release improves the way series are automatically ordered (MBS-7557), and fixes a few bugs in the edit system preventing certain edits from closing. We’ve also got some fixes and additions to the URL cleanup code.

Thanks to all who contributed to today’s release. The git tag is v-2015-07-27 and the complete changelog is below.

Bug

  • [MBS-8308] – Non-redirecting Weibo URLs are changed to URLs which redirect
  • [MBS-8475] – Allow links to Amazon Mexico
  • [MBS-8480] – Home page “latest posts” garbles fancy punctuation coming from the blog titles
  • [MBS-8483] – Entities that require a disambiguation comment ISE if submitted with relationships
  • [MBS-8484] – Server does not fully collapse spaces surrounding non-printable characters
  • [MBS-8485] – ModBot can’t close deletion edits if the entity no longer exists
  • [MBS-8488] – ModBot can’t close an AddISWCs edit where any of the works were deleted
  • [MBS-8490] – Works with no relationships not being deleted
  • [MBS-8491] – Work merges aren’t happening

Improvement

  • [MBS-7557] – better series automatic ordering
  • [MBS-7987] – Event series should be (auto-)ordered by date
  • [MBS-8457] – Remove “?oldformat=true” from Wikipedia URLs

New Feature

  • [MBS-8312] – festivals from songkick and setlist.fm not allowed as event-relationships

Task

  • [MBS-8487] – Add autoselect to soundcloud for series