Instruments part five: Let’s get serious & GCI

At the end of the last version I was getting into the groove—and feeling determined.
I had managed to vittle down the instrument backlog to half! I though surely I could do even better! Let’s start digging into the meat of things and, get serious.

Now we were going to do things seriously, so therefore this was a pretty big version!
It’s called:

Let’s get serious!

I started by looking into a few issues during autumn:

However right in the middle of this version came GCI!
I was part of the contest as a mentor this year (for the first time) so naturally I had some instrument tasks ready for our participants. They were pretty popular, with a lot of tickets being added or improved by the participants. So, this is how serious we got for GCI:

After GCI we still had quite a bit of seriousness left:

The majority of these where done during autumn ’17 and the first half of ’18. The whole thing would have been finished in the summer, hadn’t May, June and July ’18 been the hottest summer ever! I just couldn’t think, so I took a break until August and then I finished dealing with the last few stragglers.

This version ended up including 58 tickets: the largest to date!
What happens now? Well, at the end of the “Let’s get serious” version I noticed some issues with families and the like, but that’s a topic for the next blog post!


It’d been almost 2 years since I started, and I’ve managed to get quite a lot done! Here is a graph that illustrates the progress (notice the the jump in added tickets during GCI period, when the participants actually added them faster than I could close them!):
progress graph

And with this we have finally caught up! So hopefully all future blogs from now on will be posted soon after the relevant versions are released.

Wrapping up Google Code‐in 2016

As Google has now announced the finalists of this round of Google Code-in, it feels only right that we also take a look back at what’s been taking up a large chunk of our time the last couple of months.

Divya Prakash Mittal (India – returning from last year!), Daniel Theis (Germany), and Tigran Kostandyan (Russia) all made it to the finalists, with Anshuman Agarwal (India) and Daniel Hsing (Hong Kong) additionally taking home the Grand Prize Winner positions! Congratulations to all of you and thank you so much for your contributions this year. 🙂 Continue reading “Wrapping up Google Code‐in 2016”

Wrapping up Google Code-in 2015

The Google Code-in Google Code‐in is pretty much over for this time, and we’ve had a blast in our first year with the competition in MetaBrainz with a total of 116 students completing tasks. In the end we had to pick five finalists from these, and two of these as our grand prize winners getting a trip to the Googleplex in June. It was a really, really tough decision, as we have had an amazing roster of students for our first year. In the end we picked Ohm Patel (US) and Caroline Gschwend (US) as our grand prize winners, closely followed by Stanisław Szcześniak (Poland), Divya Prakash Mittal (India), and Nurul Ariessa Norramli (Malaysia). Congratulations and thank you to all of you, as well as all our other students! We’ve been very excited to work with you and look forwards to seeing you again before, during, and after coming Google Code-ins as well! 🙂

Rayna Kanapuram MusicBrainz presentation
Indian student Rayne presenting MusicBrainz to her classmates.

In all we had 275 tasks completed during the Google Code-in. These tasks were divided among the various MetaBrainz projects as well as a few for beets. We ended up having 29 tasks done for BookBrainz, 124(!) tasks for CritiqueBrainz, 95 tasks for MusicBrainz, 1 task for Cover Art Archive, 6 tasks for MusicBrainz Picard, 3 tasks for beets, and 17 generic or MetaBrainz related tasks.

Some examples of the tasks that were done include:

Ariessa MetaBrainz infographic
Finalist Nurul Ariessa Norramli’s MetaBrainz infographic.

In all, I’m really darn happy with the outcome of this Google Code-in and how some of our finalists continue to be active on IRC and help out. Stanisław is continuing work on BookBrainz, including having started writing a Python library for BB’s API/web service, and Caroline is currently working on a new icon set for the MusicBrainz.org redesign that can currently be seen at beta.MusicBrainz.org.

Again, congratulations to our winners and finalists, and THANK YOU! to all of the students having worked on tasks for MetaBrainz. It’s really been an amazing ride and we’re definitely looking forward to our next foray into Google Code-in!

One month of Google Code-in

So today it is a month ago since the Google Code-in competition started and 18 days until it is ending. I wanted to take this opportunity to talk a bit about some of the things that have happened so far and where we’re at.

Google Code‐inSince December 7th when Google Code-in started, we have been in touch with 107 students on the Google Code-in site, of which 70 have completed at least one task and thus earned a digital certificate from Google. 11 students have so far earned themselves a t-shirt from Google by completing 3 or more tasks. The student with the highest number of completed tasks right now sits at 17 tasks, followed by one at 16 and another at 15 completed tasks. The student with the 10th most tasks completed has 3 tasks to their name.

Stanisław Szcześniak presenting about MusicBrainz
Stanisław Szcześniak, GCI student from Poland, presenting about MusicBrainz.
We have had 7 students do presentations on MusicBrainz in at least India, Romania, England, and Poland; about 50 reviews written for CritiqueBrainz with a few more in progress; a couple of MusicBrainz how to’s written for the wiki; one video tutorial made (which hasn’t been uploaded yet); a bunch of tests written for BookBrainz; updated and have had made a bunch of icons/logos in various places; a bunch of code patches and tests written for almost all our projects, as well as for beets (a 3rd party music file tagger and organiser heavily using MB data).

We have also had to report 3 students for plagiarising leading to their disqualification. 😦 However, compared to the amount of work and number of students, I think it’s a decently small number.

Overall, I am (still!) really excited about MetaBrainz finally being a part of Google Code-in, and I definitely think the lack of sleep the first week and newbie questions on IRC and on the GCI tasks are worth it. We’re getting some great stuff done, that we may not have gotten around to in any reasonable time ourselves, and we get to help all these students learn about programming, open source, open data, licenses, and a bunch of other things. I’m happy and I’m not looking forward to picking only 5 finalists and only 2 winners. There are definitely more than that I would personally like to see in both categories. 🙂

Have you had any experiences with or thoughts on our Google Code-in participation so far? Please do share them with us in the comments!

Google Code-in announcement! – and call to arms

As many of our loyal blog readers will know, the MetaBrainz Foundation has been part of the Google Summer of Code for several years. This year we’re going to expand into the realm of Google Code‐in!

Google Code‐inGoogle Code‐in, or GCI, is a program aimed at pre-university students aged 13–17. Unlike the Summer of Code (GSoC), the students will have a large number of smaller tasks to work on, instead of working on one large/huge task for the duration of the summer. It is set up as a competition and the students who do the most work will be eligible to win some Google prizes.

But what does this have to do with us? I’ll tell you what! We were accepted in this year’s Code-in! Over the last few weeks, I and a couple of other people (mostly on IRC) have been preparing for the GCI, but that does not mean we’re done yet – we can still very much use more hands. The competition starts on December 7th—that’s Monday next week! This means that we will have a flood of young people come into #musicbrainz and #metabrainz on IRC as well as possibly the forums. Please be courteous and patient; these young people will hopefully stick around Music– and MetaBrainz for long after the GCI and become full‐blown members of the community, but they need some incubation time. (Also, if you only sometimes frequent IRC, next week in particular would be a lovely time to have “all hands on deck”. Doubly so if you’re in the far eastern hemisphere as students will be coming from all different time zones and regions, and we only have a couple of East Asian and Australasian people in the IRC rooms.)

We are also continually looking for task suggestions. They can be for or from pretty much anything related to any MetaBrainz projects (we will have a number of *Brainz related tasks for beets for example), so let your creative juices flow and let us know what (small) things you would like some of these students to work on. The wikipage has some more information about what kind of tasks are acceptable. Keep in mind that they should generally be doable within 3–6 hours, but if you’re in doubt, feel free to poke one of our GCI mentors and ask.

Speaking of mentors, we could really use more mentors who are familiar with our various code bases. If you think that’s you, please, please, please poke me (Freso) on IRC and we can get things sorted. Of course, even if you don’t think you’ll be able to be a dedicated mentor, just hanging around IRC and helping students will also be a huge help and relieve the mentors somewhat to spend time on reviewing submitted work, entering additional tasks, etc.

I’m personally, and I know others are too, really excited about this. It’s a great opportunity to hopefully get a lot of low‐hanging fruit picked off as well as recruiting some new (hopefully) long‐term community members and contributors. However, it is also our first year in this program, so none of us really know what we’ve signed up for. It’s an adventure! And I hope you will be joining us. 😉

PS. If you know any pre-university students aged 13–17, tell them about the program and maybe use this as a way to lure them into the Brainzverse! 😄