| The Big Picture >|
Communications Means >
Help! (a.k.a. "Where to ask and discuss what?")
MusicBrainz has a big and busy community, with a somewhat wide range of tools to communicate.
Finding out the appropriate channel depends mainly on what you want.
I'm not too sure about that edit I made...
Write EditNotes! And obviously, answer questions addressed to you from voters on your edits.
EditNotes are one of the best place to learn and get answers, as most voters will usually provide opinions and links to the relevant parts of the documentation, or even help you in sorting out edits.
Usually, you will get an answer on an EditNote in a matter of days (that still heavily depends on how popular the artist you're editing is, and if there are voters who regularly provide input on your edits).
I just need an answer, NOW!
It didn't help! And I still need help NOW!
Then your best shot is the IRC channel.
Be aware, though, that like all IRC channels, you'll obviously get an answer from the people who are hanging there at the moment you drop in. Some of them really are experts (including the project lead and main developers), others are just experts in telling jokes about mooses and choco (which sure is fine also :-) )
I have a somewhat generic question, and on IRC, you know, they just tell funny jokes about Mooses and Choco...
Usually, you'll get an answer in less than a day (and possibly a bit less jokes).
My question is pretty specific, actually
Also, if your question pertain to something that is not really clear in the documentation, you are strongly encouraged to just edit the relevant wiki page and ask it there. That way is certainly a better choice for the long term, as your question not only will be answered but the documentation will benefit from it by being updated to clarify what was not in the first place.
Where do I read news about MusicBrainz?
I found a bug!
Then you may report it! Check our BugTracker (be sure to verify your bug is not already reported).
I found a problem in the documentation, and I think I can fix it
Just go ahead and edit the page on the MusicBrainzWiki. A few recommendations , though:
- please create a WikiAccount so your edits are signed (this is not the same as your editor MusicbrainzAccount)
- if the page you wanna edit is part of the official editor documentation, you definitely should not randomly change the meaning of it (especially the StyleGuidelines). Such a change should be discussed first (see below)
- just as with any Wiki, we have some code of conduct rules - obviously you shouldn't just remove content because it doesn't please you, or alter other people questions, etc...
I have this idea to propose about a style improvement
Our favorite process to do so works roughly as follow:
- taste the waters, especially if you're new: try to see what other people think about "the question" you are trying to solve, and dig a bit on the wiki (or the MailingLists archives) to check if a similar proposal was not suggested earlier
- when done, create a new wiki page that describes your style proposal (you may ask for help from a more experienced WikiZen if you need)
- post a request for comments to the StyleMailingList, and see what's the reaction
- you may also open-up a ticket in the BugTracker (that helps us in keeping a vision of our history)
- your request for comments will eventually become a request for veto and will eventually become reality!
More details about all that in the StyleCouncil page.
I have this new idea for a super-new-feature...
... but that involves additional code development, right? :-)
Whether your idea will be implemented or not pretty much sums-up to the question: "is one of the developers interested in implementing it?".
While obviously the easiest way to have it actually implemented is to contribute the code for it yourself (if you have such skills), even non-developers are encouraged in providing feedback and new ideas on future developments.
To do so, usually:
- get yourself familiar with the way the project will evolve (check the)
- create a wiki page describing your proposal
- possibly look for feedback from other users on the MailingLists
- hook-up with a developer!
Do you guys ever meet?
Yes, we hold summits from time to time.
It's also rumored that some editors secretly meet in various places of the world (at least some French editors killed a few beers together), but to learn about that you'll probably have to either suggests and organize it yourself, or hang around enough here, on the MailingLists, IRC, EditNotes, etcetera. :-)
A more formal description of MusicBrainz communication channels
- The MusicBrainz main pages mirror the content of our wiki specifically targeted at providing general information to users
- EditNotes (and to some extent Annotations) are well-suited for very specific discussions and documentation
- MailingLists fit for discussion of MusicBrainz issues, and are ideal for active discussions (and controversies!) with a wider audience than EditNotes
- The Forums are good for obtaining competent and informed help about either products or editing questions
- The Brainz Blog has frequent updates from MusicBrainz developers on their progress in implementing new features and projects. While it has a comment feature for feedback, it's not meant for substantive discussions
- The Trac bug tracker is used to track problems and well-defined and self-contained ideas for enhancement that have been generally accepted, so that the work can be assigned to one of the developers and the resolution status can be tracked.
- The IRC channel is a very informal forum for Q&A or brainstorming, with immediate interactive discussions. Being a very frisky place, people there also developed their own MusicBrainzSlang.
- ... and every once in a while there is a MusicBrainzSummit, where people meet in the real world.
- the Wiki has two overlapping uses:
- the primary one is for intermediate and advanced documentation of the MusicBrainz community, conventions, interfaces, and internals. The Wiki is especially well suited for documenting community issues and conventions like the style and editing guidelines, which change over time as a result of the community's interactions, and don't necessarily require development efforts.
- the second use is for detailed and specific discussions. General ideas or opinions are best discussed on the MailingList, but once it gets to the point where there are detailed proposals (and counter-proposals) it makes sense to move discussion to the Wiki, where others can comment in-line and link to related topics, as well as summarize and re-organize the discussion. Additional discussion may still take place on the MailingList or IRC and if there is general acceptance of the suggestion, it may be a good idea to create a feature request on the BugTracker.