Next server release: April Fools Day

April 1st may not be the best date to release a new server, but scheduling would have it that way: The next server update is officially scheduled for April 1st, 2007.

To prevent the next release from becoming a bad April Fools joke, we will need your help to test the new features on the server. Recently we’ve asked people to come check out the new Labels support and the Data Quality support. Now that we’re coming to a close on this new release (there are still bugs to be fixed, but major functionality changes are done) we’d like people to come check it out again and help us test on the staging server.

The following features will be included in the next release:

  1. Improved cover art support: A new release-url Advanced Relationship link type has been created. By linking a release to a cover art JPG file at CD Baby or at the Internet Archive, editors will now able to deep link to cover art on sites other than For more information on this feature, see CoverArtSites. See an example here and here.
  2. Data quality: Based on the first round of feedback, we’ve narrowed the data quality levels down to 3 from 4. The staging server has also been loaded with recent data and the ModBot is now running for a more complete test. See below for more comments on this.
  3. Label support: Label support has been around and a number of bugs have been fixed. For more info see Labels.
  4. Lookup nagging: Nagging tagger users who look up their files at MusicBrainz but who have not donated. If you go to to the taglookup page, you will be constantly nagged if you’re not logged in. If you log in, you will only be nagged every 5th lookup (I suspect that most people will be logged in). If you’ve donated to MusicBrainz, you wont be nagged at all. Designed to be not terrible right off the bat, I am curious to see what people think of this solution. Please point your tagger to and do some lookups to see if you think the current nagging approach will work ok.
  5. Bug fixes: Lots of them — see our milestone info for more details.

I have some more comments regarding the DataQuality feature — based on blog feedback I’ve changed the data quality levels to:

  1. Low
  2. Unknown
  3. High

I’m not certain if these are the best levels, but I wanted to throw out some thoughts that go with choosing these names/levels. First, the existing data and all new data that editors have not vouched for needs to have a name attached to it that makes sense. Just applying low data quality to all data by default will be unfair to large swatches of our data. I think one level needs to indicate that no human has vouched for the data and the other levels needs to indicate that someone has looked at the data and given it a thumbs up or thumbs down. Second, I like Low and High, but I am not a big fan of Unknown. What other word can we use that suggests that no human has vouched for this data?

Other suggestions I’ve tried for level names:

  • bad, unknown, good
  • unverified, unknown, verified

I tend to dislike these levels since labeling our data as bad seems like a poor idea. And verified is questionable as well — what do you verify the data against? So, please take the staging server for another spin and let us know what you think now. We still have nearly three weeks to try and figure our the best way of handling this.

Finally, the change artist/release quality edits are currently still auto edits for everyone — this will be changed before the release.


5 thoughts on “Next server release: April Fools Day”

  1. Woohoo for the new server release!

    One thing I should mention in case you aren’t aware of it yet is that you can see the “Change” link for the data quality value while you are not logged in. It prompts you to login if you click it but I doubt this link should be viewable while not logged in.

    I’m not sure how I feel yet about the Data Quality feature. How can it be used? Why should editors use their time adjusting these values? Wouldn’t if be more productive to make a quick correction to a release rather than notice the mess and simply change the data quality to ‘Low’?

    I always thought it would be nice if you could see what ARs a release has from the artist’s page so you could see quickly “Oh, this release has links to Wikipedia, Amazon, cover art, and Discogs! Not much else for me to do here.” This could be used to add missing Wiki/Amz/Discogs/cover art ARs without having to open every release to check. Releases usually only have this information added when a user visits the release’s page to tag or look something up (at least in my experience).

    When I see on an artist’s page that a specific release is missing the month/day of the release date, I dig in to see if I can find more information. Similarly, I’m sure that having a little Amazon icon next to releases with ASINs would motivate me to go to these releases with no ASIN and find one. I hate missing data! =) These little icons could also be used as links to the associated URLs so you could visit them without having to actually enter the release’s page.

    Anyways, just my thoughts 🙂
    -Aaron (cooperaa)

  2. Do they have to have names?

    What about using a stoplight system, Red/Yellow/Green light icons (although I suppose still will need some type of text representation to support text only usage?).

  3. Is it just me or are there no AR’s available for Labels on the test server? The dropdown just has “[Please select a relationship type]”

  4. About the Lookup Nagging …

    Getting nagged is not a stimulation, but disencouragement. In other words: a reason to look for other solutions. And also a reason to make these. It is plain marketing-mechanism, and there is a lot of experience with this ‘tool’. Does it fit within MusicBrainz style?

    And why does the donation of valuable time not count?
    Yeah, I know, noboy can pay the bills with it.
    But for me it is one thing I *can* do here and a bit of appreciation would be nice, apart from the rare compliment one gets.

    (Talking about nagging: even using the preview function here counts as a ‘post’ and creates a Comment Submission Error to prevent abusive use.)

  5. > It is plain marketing-mechanism, and there is a lot of experience with this ‘tool’. Does it fit within MusicBrainz style?

    Its a mechanism to pay the bills. If we can’t pay the hosting costs the service goes away. Its really that simple.

    >And why does the donation of valuable time not count?

    It does. Developers and other community members have their NoNag flag set, so that they will never be nagged.

    That is also the reason why the nag is on the lookup form. Most people who are serious contributors hardly use that page. Mostly tagger users use that page and a few more tagger users ought to make a donation for the serivces we provide. That’s all we’re trying to do.

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