Server Update 2013-09-30

With the MusicBrainz summit happening just this weekend, and most work continuing on the upcoming schema change release – this server update is a tad on the light side! However, we do at least have something to show. Thanks to nikki for the main change in this release:


  • [MBS-6735] – ProcessReplicationChanges breaks with update packages that cross the limit boundary

New Feature

  • [MBS-5789] – Make links for HTTPS enabled sites use schema independent links

The Git tag for this release is v-2013-09-30.

MusicBrainz Summit #13

Over the weekend, 17 MusicBrainz fanatics got together at WikiMedia’s German headquarters to discuss the immediate future of MusicBrainz. And in short – we had a blast! A tremendous amount of topics were covered, and we feel this was one of the most productive summits we’ve had so far. From genres to acoustic properties, to internationalization, to artist & label artwork, an incredible amount was discussed.

MusicBrainz Summit #13 Atendees
From left to right: ijabz, CatCat, ianmcorvidae, reosarevok, ruaok, navap, santiissopasse, Anders Arpteg (Spotify), LordSputnik, ocharles, warp, fractalizator, Freso, Mineo, kepstin, JonnyJD

A summary of all topics covered and points discussed can be found on the wiki, with thanks to diligent note taking by everyone who attended. As you’ll see, a lot of topics are now actionable, so hopefully work will begin to move forward with these. While it remains unclear what the solution is to some topics, the constructive conversations around them is helping us slowly move forward in the right direction.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a MusicBrainz summit if it was work work work – there was plenty of mayhem and play too! On Saturday we had our summit meal at Max & Moritz – complete with a police escort due to some unfortunately timed protests. A novel twist for a group meal… yet oddly consistent with the fresh and unpredictable nature of MusicBrainz.

ruaok takes a hard earned break... on Freso!
ruaok takes a hard earned break… on Freso!

We also want to thank our sponsors who made the summit possible. Thank you to Spotify and Google’s Open Source Programs Office! Your support paid for some airfares, our lodging, summit meals and a large pile U-Bahn tickets. And of course, a big thanks also goes to Wikimedia Germany and in particular to Lydia Pintscher for baby-sitting us all weekend and also for making awesome introductions to other people to help with specific summit topics.

Thanks again to everyone who attended. Until next year!

Server Update 2013-09-16

Hello all. We’ve just pushed out another small little update to MusicBrainz. This release is small while we continue to focus on getting the upcoming schema change ready, so there are a handful of bug fixes and improvements. Thanks to Frederik “Freso” S. Olesen, Michael Wiencek and the rest of the MusicBrainz team for their work on this release. Here’s what’s changed:


  • [MBS-2521] – Setting fields via query parameters blanks all default values (including auto-editor checkbox)
  • [MBS-6163] – Following INSTALL does not result in a runnable server
  • [MBS-6279] – /ws/2/discid/ ignores DB_READ_ONLY
  • [MBS-6281] – Logged in users can load /register
  • [MBS-6287] – Adding disc IDs ignores DB_READ_ONLY
  • [MBS-6291] – Adding releases to your collection via the webservice ignores DB_READ_ONLY
  • [MBS-6607] – Internal server error after logging in from search results page
  • [MBS-6689] – Pasting an MBID initiates a search
  • [MBS-6691] – Inline search for works should include localised name
  • [MBS-6695] – URL cleanup doesn’t catch/clean iTunes URLs containing +
  • [MBS-6700] – Internal server error displaying a relationship
  • [MBS-6707] – Internal server error trying to authenticate via the webservice if password needs resetting
  • [MBS-6716] – Tagger button doesn’t work when using https in some browsers
  • [MBS-6721] – beta: Internal server error in /ws/js/work
  • [MBS-6743] – URL cleanup doesn’t catch/clean iTunes URLs containing *


  • [MBS-6419] – Don’t check any artist credits by default when editing artist names.


  • [MBS-6702] – Add Rockipedia to the Other Databases whitelist
  • [MBS-6708] – Turn ISNI number into link

The Git tag for this release is v-2013-09-16.

Changes for upcoming schema change release: 2013-10-14

For our fall schema change release we’re going to fix the issues listed in this Schema change, 2013-10-14 fix version. This schema change, much like our previous fall schema changes, is going to be a little lighter than our spring changes. The two big changes that you should be aware of are:

  • MBS-6046: Remove PUID support. PUIDs have been deprecated for quite some time in favor of using AcoustID. This change completes our switchover to AcoustID.
  • MBS-6068: Remove _name tables. With NGS we introduced tables that isolated all of the name strings for a given table, in order to reduce duplicate strings in our database. Sadly, this proved to be more pain that gain, so we’re going to remove them. This will make writing queries for our schema much easier. Sadly, this means that if you use the MusicBrainz database directly, (as opposed to using our Web Service, which we recommend) then you will likely need to update your SQL queries.

The rest of the changes will have a much smaller impact: Adding a disambiguation column for areas, adding places, and adding the ability to mark a relationship as deprecated. We’re also making some minor changes to our non-replicated tables that will not be visible to our Live Data Feed users, but are more convenient to make during a schema change.

The scheduled date for this release is Monday, 14th October, 2013.

Our RDFa dilemma

A few years ago Queen Mary University was awarded a grant to implement modern RDF support in MusicBrainz. The RDFa portion was implemented on our server and has been in our pages for quite some time.

However, the code to implement RDFa is brittle and has not been maintained through a number of schema changes and is quite broken at this point in time. When wondering if we should fix this or remove it, we could find no one or no application that we know of, that makes use of the embedded RDFa in our pages. And no one stepped up to fix it and the author of this code is not responding to emails inquiring about this.

At this point, we’re ready to remove the broken code from our pages in an effort to remove technical debt that has accumulated over the past few years. If you care about RDFa support in our pages, please speak up now. Ideally anyone speaking up would also volunteer to adopt the RDFa code and see it through life as our schema changes.

We’re going to take the HTTPS plunge!

Yesterday in our dev meeting we agreed to take the HTTPS plunge for all of our web site traffic in as little as 2 weeks time. This means that all web site traffic (not the web service) will be served over HTTPS; if you visit any MusicBrainz HTTP URL (e.g. ) you will be redirected to the equivalent HTTPS URL (e.g. ). This will not be applied to our web services, you’ll still be able to access those with HTTP. However, we do encourage all of our web service users to make use of HTTPS when possible.

We have one bug to address before we make this switch. And if we can find a sufficient fix for this in time, we’re going to make the HTTPS switch on 16 September 2013. If we can’t find an acceptable fix, we’ll have to postpone this switchover.

If for some reason you can see that switching all web site traffic to HTTPS is a bad idea, please leave us a comment ASAP.

Server Update 2013-09-02

We have a tiny release to kick off September, as we’ve been focusing quite heavily on tightening up the reliability and ease-of-maintenance of the servers themselves. However, we still have a few important bug fixes to release. Here’s what’s changed:


  • [MBS-4730] – Sort names for artist search hint aliases are displayed, but cannot be edited.
  • [MBS-6218] – When a Person with a gender is merged into a Group, ModBot ISEs.
  • [MBS-6561] – End column empty in search results for ended artists with no end date
  • [MBS-6635] – Several reports not updated since May 15
  • [MBS-6690] – JSON web service ISE with inc=aliases
  • [MBS-6698] – Wiki excerpts truncated by mid-sentence initials (eg, of names) that are mistaken for periods ending a sentence.

The Git tag for this release is v-2013-09-02