Calling all guinea pigs!

I come bringing good news! With the latest version of the server now out in the wild, we’re ready to move on to the next stage of MusicBrainz development. But first a quick refresher…

You may recall, many moons ago I (Oliver Charles aka aCiD2) began work on moving the mb_server codebase from our own in-house framework, to the tried and tested Catalyst framework – along with separating out the HTML into separate Template Toolkit templates. Well, after what seems like an age, it’s finally got to the time where I can start getting some critical feedback from the most important people – you!

As from now, is now running the development branch of this work. It’s important to realise that this new codebase currently has no javascript support. This decision was made because it’s very important we get the website fully functional, and then add bells and whistles on later. We’re starting from a mostly clean slate, so there’s a lot of chance of things breaking, and JavaScript was likely to be just one more headache.

Oh, and I’ve never deployed a server like this before, so please bare with me while I work out any problems running the server. I’m going to London tomorrow and coming back Saturday evening (slightly bad timing, I’m aware) – but I’ll do my best to check any messages that come my way!

However, before you jump straight in and overload us with work – I’d like to lay down some guidelines for providing us with feedback. This will (hopefully) ensure that we can see to these bugs as fast as possible.

Where to report:

Standard practice- report at our bugtracker –

What should you report?

The most important things to report are actions that cause errors to occur, invalid behaviour or features that are simply not available, but are from the main server. You should also report typos and other visual problems – but I will be encouraging people to help fix these themselves (more on this later!).

What information should you provide?

The most critical information is that you can provide us with as much context as possible. Please let us know:

  • Any steps to reproduce the problem
  • Whether you are logged in or not
  • The address of the page that caused the problem
  • As much information as possible from the top of the error page

The last point relates somewhat to Catalyst. Catalyst features improved error handling and can provide us with a stack trace. You should try and include this stack trace, and the errors at the top. Chances are, we’ll be able to reproduce this from the information you provide – but if not, the stack trace gives us one more pointer to where the problem is 🙂

How should you organise the report?

Generally speaking, just try to fill in as many of the fields as possible. I’ll be reading every single report that comes in, and re-filing it myself where necessary. Ideally, set the component to ‘MusicBrainz’, the milestone to ‘Server: TemplateToolkit’ and assign the bug to me 🙂


Let the bug crunching begin!

4 thoughts on “Calling all guinea pigs!”

  1. > features that are simply not available, but are from the main server.

    In fact new features introduced in the last server release (2008-11-23) shouldn’t be reported as missing.
    They not been ported yet.

  2. Hi guys! For the moment it seems that a lot of things aren’t working (I can’t even see albums).

    Is there a testing server somewhere with the same code as the live one? I’d like to test a web-service script I’ve done and I really don’t feel like installing a local database. (And I don’t trust the script enough to let it run on the live server.)

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