BookBrainz is now an official MetaBrainz project!

After many years as a community driven project and often under-staffed, the BookBrainz project has always been the red-headed step child of our projects. A few weeks ago I asked if the community felt that we should make BookBrainz an official project of the foundation and got a very positive response.

After that, we started informally seeking developers to take on this position, leading to the hire of Monkey, who will now be the lead of the BookBrainz project, taking over for Ben Ockmore. Ben will take on a contributor role to BookBrainz going forward and remain on the project! Thanks for all of your hard efforts in the past, Ben!

While Monkey comes up to speed on the codebase, we’ve been brainstorming what features he should focus on first . The short term focus on BookBrainz will be on bringing it into our hosting setup at Hetzner, which means making the codebase ready for running inside of docker with all of the MetaBrainz specific hosting quirks. Part of this project will be to remove elastic search and to utilize our new Solr based search system that we recently released for MusicBrainz.

After getting BookBrainz moved to our hosting facility that focus will be to create a minimally viable product. What exactly does this mean? One of the frequent complaints I’ve received about BookBrainz is that it is missing core functionality of a proper metadata project. Core functionality means that a user should be able to view and edit all of the metadata that is in BookBrainz and then retrieve this data from the BookBrainz API. It should include full data dumps with incremental data dumps being added a bit later.

What do you think the missing core features of BookBrainz are?

Finally, we’re in discussions with the OpenLibrary team, wondering how to best work together and not to duplicate efforts — we’ll post more about this once we’ve reached an agreement with the OpenLibrary team on how we should proceed.


8 thoughts on “BookBrainz is now an official MetaBrainz project!”

  1. Front and back page thumbnail, Spine thumbnails, Age, Series/collection support, Publisher description info, Country publication, relationships with music or film, recommendation engine, add to user collection feature, Kindle links, amazon links, imports from other library systems.

  2. I think the most missing part currently is the lack of relationship editing. Not being able to set the author for a book is IMHO a deal breaker. At least I will abstain from editing anything unless this is possible.

  3. I’d like to see inter project linking. The possibility to link from bookbrainz books to musicbrainz audiobooks, some kind of deduplicating the authors within musicbrainz and bookbrainz or the possibility to write critiques for books on critiquebrainz.

  4. Relationship constraints would be good. Having an author written by a book isn’t an ideal situation for a database (but a good premise for a story).

  5. I like zag’s idea about the thumbnails. If it could be a bit like the Manga Cover Database (there have been no updates in years), that would be great. Here is an example page based off an entry y’all already have.

    I want to be able to add UPCs, ISBNs/JANs, ASINs, anything that can identify a work along with its metadata.

  6. gron: Linking to MB is already possible, at least for editions (linking to releases) and creators (linking to MB artists).

    nof: Linking to identifiers is also available (most of them apply to editions)

    What I still can’t figure out is how to link the author 😦

  7. The author can currently be linked to works only, but the plan is to have a credit for the book (as on cover) same as we do in MB. Expect it SOON™

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