MediaGoblin 0.3.3: Pixel Party

MediaGoblin 0.3.3: Pixel Party banner
16-bit pixelized Gavroche rockin’ out with some Liberated Pixel Cup friends. Dual licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 and GNU GPL version 3 or later. Pixel art Gavroche by Christopher Allan Webber, everything else by LPC base artwork team.

Welcome to MediaGoblin 0.3.3! Our tech lead Chris Webber recently finished awarding prizes to the Liberated Pixel Cup contest participants. MediaGoblin is shaping up to be a perfect place to build video game artwork where there is usually a unified theme or look to characters, items and backgrounds. When we first started building MediaGoblin, we envisioned a freedom-respecting collaboration space for artists — a place where they could share images, videos and sound. It would be easy to control who to share with and simple to figure out how work was licensed. We’ve made some great progress towards these goals in this release.

First of all, let’s take a look at what got easier for users. We built a fancy new dropdown menu so you can see all the upload tools up at the top of your home page — or not — you can easily toggle back and forth.

Dropdown menu

When you upload stuff, you’ll get a nice mnemonic URL. Maybe you hadn’t noticed the funny code URL’s? Or maybe you have noticed because we inadvertently helped you send the wrong link to the right person.. or the right link to the wrong person? Anyway, they are fixed up all nice now. You get a URL with your title with a couple numbers at the end to make it unique.

We also made the collection creation a bit more verbose and hopefully more intuitive. Mmmm, verbiage…

New collections button

We made a number of improvements to the back-end handling of video. We fixed the video thumbnails. We also made big improvements to the way files get copied around which makes much better use of memory, a critical boon for video storage. Also, MediaGoblin no longer automatically transcodes videos that don’t need it. If you’re uploading the right size .webm or an .ogg theora file, you can host them directly without conversion. Plus we tweaked the video player so it resizes with your browser, which is much nicer for mobile devices!

Our last improvement to the user experience is the ability to set a default Creative Commons license for all your uploads. You can still set individual items separately, but if you have a favorite license you use for most of your stuff, you won’t have to specify it each time you upload new files.

New license selection dropdown.

Oh, and you might notice above that you can now also delete your account from your user settings!

Pluginifying proceeds at a pleasing pace! We moved the OpenStreetMap and Geolocation function out to a plugin. It’s still included by default, but it helped us to test the plugin interface and allows users to put something else in there if they want to. We also refined the template hooks to make it easier for plugin authors to hook their features in exactly where they want them, top, side, bottom whatever part of the page makes sense for their specific plugin.

As part of our goal to make MediaGoblin a leaner and easier install, we eliminated a library from the installation process. We’ve also started working towards getting MediaGoblin packaged with popular GNU/Linux distributions. (Afraid we’ll skip your favorite? Help us get it in there and we won’t!) Expect more news on this exciting front in the next few months.

All of the fundraising gifts are out! (Well, a few international rewards left, but we’ll get to them this week!) Hooray!! As much fun as it was to watch the money/progress bar and mail things out to all our lovely supporters, in the future we are looking for less labor intensive funding models. Feel free to send us your ideas for grants, potential collaborators with access to funding and customization contracts that will help us fund the future of MediaGoblin!

The last word goes to thanking of all our contributors; translators, designers, documenters, coders, bug-senders, nitpickers and promoters. As our codebase gets larger, lots of things get a bit more… well, complicated. We really appreciate the folks who have been around for a while and know how things works around here and we are super-grateful to the new folks who have been willing to jump in and learn how things work around here. Thanks to: Aleksej Serdjukov, András Veres-Szentkirályi, Christopher Allan Webber, Deb Nicholson, Elrond (from Samba TNG), Jef van Schendel, Joar Wandborg, Mark Holmquist, Odin Hørthe Omdal, Runar Petursson, Sebastian Spaeth, Simon Fondrie-Teitler, Stefano Zacchiroli, Tiberiu C. Turbureanu, and Tran Thanh Bao (pythonsnake)! MediaGoblin wouldn’t exist without all of you!

As always, if you’re interested in more details, check the release notes!

Got ideas for plugins or feedback for us? Talk to us! Visit our IRC, it’s #mediagoblin on freenode.net! If you want regular updates, join the mailing list or email us at press@mediagoblin.org