Category Archives: Style Guidelines

Style update, 2015-01-27

Small update this time. Two main changes – a few more pages are now linkable as “other databases”, and a lot of small guidelines related to titles have been condensed into the Titles guideline instead.

Improvement

  • [STYLE-229] – Add Biblioteka Piosenki to the otherDBs whitelist
  • [STYLE-358] – Add Québec Info Musique to the "other Database Whitelist"
  • [STYLE-412] – Simplify the text of the Featured Artists guideline

New Feature

  • [STYLE-238] – Add viola.linneanet.fi to the other databases whitelist
  • [STYLE-386] – Add "Ted Crane’s DanceDB"
  • [STYLE-387] – Add "The Dance Gypsy"
  • [STYLE-390] – Whitelist Mainly Norfolk

Task

  • [STYLE-406] – Style/Titles duplicates guidelines

Style update, 2015-01-13

It’s been, well, a bit too long, but here we go with a new entry of “What has changed in Style”!

The two bigger changes to previous usage here involve pseudo-releases and live bootlegs: Pseudo-releases should only contain basic data in most cases and bootlegs should only be renamed if they have no title.

Improvement

  • [STYLE-165] – Add Russian text to Style/Language/Russian
  • [STYLE-408] – Add a “Play” work type

New Feature

  • [STYLE-292] – Add “Licensee” relationship
  • [STYLE-374] – “Founded” Artist-Place relationship type
  • [STYLE-388] – Add {instrument/vocal} to Event-Artist performance relationships
  • [STYLE-400] – Add a release-area (and place?) “manufactured in” relationship
  • [STYLE-403] – Add “formerly attributed to” work-artist relationship

Task

  • [STYLE-342] – Define how pseudo-releases should be used
  • [STYLE-391] – Postponed Events
  • [STYLE-405] – Update live bootleg style now that we have events and places

Sub-task

  • [STYLE-103] – Update once audiobooks style is passed

Style update, 2014-12-03

After skipping a fortnight because of concentrating on the schema change release, here’s the next edition of the style update, with all the changes from the last month. Most of the changes involve adding new medium formats and new place/area relationships, plus making changes and additions related to the new schema change features (events and data tracks).

The biggest change this month is the addition of a classical music titles guideline. This deprecates the old Opera Tracks guideline, and basically just provides a certain amount of standardisation while keeping mostly true to the on-cover titles.

Improvement

  • [STYLE-221] – Add Data CD format(s)
  • [STYLE-354] – Add a new medium format "dts Audio CD" for CD’s that are encodes as DTS streams
  • [STYLE-367] – Add an attribute for performing time to event artists

New Feature

  • [STYLE-344] – Style for classical track titles
  • [STYLE-356] – Add a "part of" event-event relationship
  • [STYLE-371] – "Subseries" relationship (needs MBS-8055 to actually work)

Task

  • [STYLE-349] – Update special purpose track title for data tracks
  • [STYLE-350] – "Engineered at" Place relationship
  • [STYLE-351] – Release group official website wording causes it to be misused
  • [STYLE-352] – Add relationship types for setlist.fm
  • [STYLE-357] – Add event type "clinic"
  • [STYLE-359] – Merge "Videotape" into "Other"
  • [STYLE-360] – Add Playbutton as a medium format
  • [STYLE-361] – Add music card as a medium format
  • [STYLE-363] – Add VinylDisc as a medium format
  • [STYLE-364] – Add DVDplus as a medium format
  • [STYLE-365] – Add 3.5" floppy disk as a medium format
  • [STYLE-366] – Add Edison Diamond Disc as a medium format
  • [STYLE-368] – "Edited at" Place relationship type
  • [STYLE-369] – Disable dates for event relationships
  • [STYLE-370] – Place(/Area)-Recording rel: produced at
  • [STYLE-379] – "remixed at" place-recording/release relationship type

Style update, 2014-11-03

As mentioned when the new style process was announced, at a similar time to every server release post we’ll be publishing a list of what’s changed in style during that period.

The first period of two weeks (or three, in this case) under the process has passed, and these are all the style-related issues that have been accepted and implemented during it. Most of them are very small (mostly adding sites to the whitelist for the Other Databases relationship) although a couple are new relationships or relationships being extended to more entities.

No changes to the guidelines themselves have happened during this period.

  • [STYLE-211] – Allow new allmusic.com release links
  • [STYLE-250] – Add finnmusic.net to the other databases whitelist
  • [STYLE-251] – Add pomus.net to whitelist
  • [STYLE-256] – Add fono.fi to the other databases whitelist
  • [STYLE-269] – Add mixing and mastering to area relationships
  • [STYLE-307] – グラスレ(grass thread/yunisan) as Artist and Label “Other DB” relationship
  • [STYLE-308] – ジャパメタ(japameta) as Artist “Other DB” relationship
  • [STYLE-312] – Add “Deutsche Nationalbibliothek” to whitelist for other databases
  • [STYLE-328] – Add leader/concertmaster artist-release/recording relationships
  • [STYLE-337] – Add IMSLP relationship to artists
  • [STYLE-338] – Add Stage48 Wiki to the other databases whitelist
  • [STYLE-339] – Add CiNii to the other databases whitelist
  • [STYLE-340] – Add NDL to the other databases whitelist

Changes to our style process

At the MusicBrainz Summit last month in Copenhagen, one of the topics to
be discussed was the state of the style guidelines and style process.
One thing those present agreed on was that the process was in need of
reform, for several reasons: the complexity of the process,
inconsistency with other processes in the project, the high level of
individual commitment required to make changes, long-running discussions
without conclusion or followthrough, and ultimately the state of the
final product, the style guidelines themselves. The inaccessibility of
our existing process meant that many users, both new and old, avoided
the style process, and this hurts the project: style is part of what
makes MusicBrainz what it is, and low participation means our guidelines
have grown both internally inconsistent and out of sync with community
practice. Nor is the style process a new problem for MusicBrainz:
historically, it’s changed several times and some past style leaders
have vanished into thin air.  After all, it is a hard job, for a
volunteer, to convince many voices to come to a consensus.

To improve upon these issues, we’ve decided to make two major changes.

First: to designate our JIRA issue tracker at tickets.musicbrainz.org as
the central coordination point for style issues. This way, any issue, be
it style-related or code-related, is reported and discussed in the same
place (and should an issue be misfiled, it’s easily corrected). The
issue tracker can also collect links to other discussions, in edit
notes, the forums, IRC, etc., and store links to related issues such as
features in need of implementation.

Second: to promote our current Style Leader to Style Benevolent Dictator
For Life (Style BDFL). Nicolás Tamargo (reosarevok) will then be in
charge of considering tickets and implementing changes in the style
guidelines. This change shifts the burden of evaluating style issues
from the community to our newly appointed BDFL. For simple changes and
for simple improvements to consistency and writing style, the BDFL can
change things directly, without need for lengthy discussion. Of course,
his work won’t happen in a vacuum: for changes that are complex or
contentious, the role of the BDFL will be to gather feedback and
determine the next steps before making changes. To this end, he may
occasionally call for a non-binding vote on a particular topic, to
collect a snapshot of community opinion to augment existing discussion,
all in order to make a better informed decision.

We hope that this new process will make contribution to the creation of
style guidelines easier and less onerous a commitment for everyone, and
that the resulting style guidelines will be more up-to-date, more
consistent, and more clearly written and organized. To test it out,
we’re going to try this process for 6 months, and then review how things
have progressed and if the process needs further tweaking or even
complete replacement.

New Guidelines for Recordings

We got this from Ben, who has been in charge of taking this discussion forward:

Since the beginning of the year there has been a lot of discussion about recordings and what exactly they should be used for. After several meetings on IRC and a couple of huge topics on the style mailing list, we’re finally ready to bring in a new definition for recordings, and new style guidelines to go with it!

The new recording definition can be viewed at http://musicbrainz.org/doc/Recording

And the accompanying style guidelines are at http://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Recording

The new guideline brings significant changes to the way recordings should be used, so all editors dealing with recordings should take the time to read it.

As a short summary, recordings are now never produced solely through copying or mastering. This means that recordings shouldn’t distinguish between different masters of some audio – in general, a recording will correspond a particular mix or edit. In addition:

– AcoustIDs and ISRCs have been removed from the guideline – they are mostly irrelevant for managing recordings under the new definition.
– Guidelines for audio channels have been introduced.
– Existing guidelines have been expanded.
– Several in-depth examples have been added to explain how recording should be used.

Also, as a result of these changes, the recording-recording remaster relationship type and the artist-recording master relationship type have been deprecated.

Thanks to everyone who was involved on mb-style and in the IRC meetings for your excellent ideas and contributions!

New Style Leader and Updated Proposal Process

Nicolás Tamargo (reosarevok) is replacing Kuno Woudt (warp) as style leader. This will allow Kuno to fully concentrate on development, and also allow our other style leader Nikki to dedicate more of her time to testing changes and make it less likely for us to have botched releases.

We are also updating the proposal process, and tying it to the Jira tracker, to avoid the manual updating of the proposal table and problems with two people using the same proposal number by mistake. The updated system is at Proposals – the huge table there has been moved to Proposals/History