Next NGS milestone: Beta 3 on 7 September

After a 3 hour bug triage session with the team we’ve managed to sort out the bugs and come up with a schedule for the next release. After looking at the number of bugs for us to tackle before the release, we felt that we really needed to have one more beta release before we are ready to call it a release candidate. Given that, we’re going to do yet one more more beta release on 7 September.

I know, another beta release? Yes, we’re sorry that this is stretching out longer than it should have, but we’re dedicated to releasing the software when its ready and not before. We’ve done our best to cut out unnecessary features, but we still have about 8 weeks of work to do. Fortunately, both Oliver and Warp are now working full time and and fully focused on this release. Re-writing a 10 year old codebase isn’t an easy thing to do and so far it looks like NGS will become stable before perl6 does. 🙂

The release candidate 1 will be 100% feature complete with no new features or tweaks being added. All we will do to the release candidate is fix bugs! For this reason we are not creating an NGS release milestone in Jira. That way, no one can postpone any tickets into the final release. 🙂

To see what we have planned for the upcoming releases, please take a look at the bug list for beta 3 and the bug list for release candidate 1. Currently we expect release candidate 1 (and hopefully only 1) about 4 weeks after beta 3. We hope to then release NGS onto the servers 2-4 weeks after that.

Looking for a contract programmer for C++/Python work

UPDATE: This position has been filled.

A soon-to-be partner of MusicBrainz is looking for an engineer for contract work. This company is looking for a person who has the following skills:

  1. Strong Python and C++ skills with experience in building applications on Windows, Linux and Mac.
  2. Open source programming experience
  3. Server programming skills a plus
  4. Solr and audio programming experience a plus
  5. Ability to be a self starter, handle task coordination via Skype and IRC.

The work would involve working with MusicBrainz and the partner company. This contract would be full time for 2-5 months, depending on the workload which isn’t very clear yet. After that the contract would taper off to 10-20 hours per week on an ongoing basis. Depending on how main portion of the contract goes, the company may decide to give more hours to the contractor on new projects. The pay for this position is still being determined, but its safe to assume that it would be a fair rate for an engineer based in the US. This engineer can be located anywhere, but the pay is likely to be appropriate for US rates. If you are interested in this position, please send your resume to helpwanted at musicbrainz dot org.

Downtime: Adding more RAM to our DB server

As a band-aid measure we’re going to add another 4GB of ram to our database server. This should hold us over until we migrate to NGS, when this problem should go away. In order to add more RAM to the DB server, I’m expecting a down time of about 10 minutes starting at 14:00 PDT, 17:00EDT, 22:00UK, 23:00 Europe this Friday July 30.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

UPDATE: Server has been fed an additional 4GB ram and everything is back to normal. Let’s hope this helps the load on the database server.

VLC, we love you, but we're seeing too much of you!

Dear VLC:

In the last month you grew to more than 25% of our traffic and this is hard for us to handle. We’ve limited the number of requests from VLC to 100 requests per 10 seconds. We need to find a way to help cover our costs for all of this traffic.

In other words, we need to sit down and chat, VLC. Please contact us!



Please take the MusicBrainz Survey!

Jess Hemerly, who is has been studying MusicBrainz as part of a class at UC Berkeley, has devised a survey for MusicBrainz users to get a better understanding of who contributes to MusicBrainz and why. She says:

I’m a researcher at UC Berkeley’s School of Information and a MusicBrainz editor (agreatnotion). I’m interested in how and why people contribute to MusicBrainz and how it can be better. Your participation will help us learn more about you, our community, and how to sustain a successful peer-produced database. The survey takes about 15 minutes, and all personal information—like username and email—will remain confidential. My advisor and I will review and analyze the results and hope to share our analysis with the academic and open source communities. The results will also be made available to the MusicBrainz community.

Take the survey here. The survey will be open for two weeks, until July 23, 2010.

Thank you for participating!