NGS: From here to there

[ Before reading this post, make sure to read the previous NGS related post ]

The question that is on my mind right now is how to build a coherent roadmap that gets us from the mb_server codebase that we’re running today to the NGS codebase, complete with new edit system. The factors that play into this are:

  1. mb_server codebase: This is the codebase that we’re running today. We’re updating it one more time this year and then early next year we hope to move to the Template Toolkit work.
  2. Template Toolkit: This is Oliver Charles’ work to clean up our codebase. Template Toolkit is available for perl and looks like it will be available for Python soon. Our hope is the clean up the codebase so that we’re ready to take on more developers to help with the development — especially as we move closer to NGS.
  3. NGS playground: See the previous post for details on this.
  4. NGS proper: This is the finished NGS that we roll out onto the MusicBrainz servers.

Finally, the BBC has been keen on getting what they are calling Cultural Identifiers. This name is a bit of a misnomer — essentially it would be the release related portions of NGS. Release groupings that allows us a more product centric approach to managing releases. Right now we list and identify releases with different track layouts as totally separate releases, even though they ought to be properly related. The BBC wishes this work to happen sooner than later and have indicated that they would be willing to sponsor this work.

That’s awesome, right??

Well, yes. But there is one problem. In the last post we concluded that we should move to NGS in one fell swoop. And now the BBC would like us to take an intermediate step? As much as we agreed that moving to NGS in one step, I think we must work with our most visible partner. Since we are severely resource constrained (we have just enough money to hire a part time University student right now) I feel compelled to find a way to get the BBC what they want as soon as possible while accepting money from them to boost our development funds. Taking money from the BBC may allow us to accelerate our development schedule towards NGS. But at the same time, it may slow us down getting to NGS.

I’m very much looking for feedback on how to best make this happen and how to best accomplish all these goals. Do you think that adding an intermediary step in exchange for funds from the BBC is an acceptable compromise?