We’re still here!

| tags: mediagoblin

Hello Goblin-Lovers! [tap tap] Is this thing still on? … Great! Well, we’ve had a few polite questions as to what’s happening in MediaGoblin-land, given our last blog post was a few years back. Let’s talk about that.

While development on MediaGoblin has slowed over the last few years, work has continued steadily, with significant improvements such as multi-resolution video (Vijeth Aradhya), video subtitles (Saksham) and a bunch of minor improvements and bug-fixes. Like most community-driven free software projects, progress only happens when people show up and make it happen. See below for a list of the wonderful people who have contributed over the last few years. Thank you all very much!

In recent years, Chris Lemmer Webber has stepped back from the role of much-loved project leader to focus on ActivityPub and the standardisation of federated social networking protocols. That process was a lot of work but ultimately successful with ActivityPub becoming a W3C recommendation in 2018 and going on to be adopted by a range of social networking platforms. Congratulations to Chris, Jessica and the other authors on the success of ActivityPub! In particular though, we would like to express our gratitude for Chris’s charismatic leadership, community organising and publicity work on MediaGoblin, not to mention the coding and artwork contributions. Thanks Chris!

During this time Andrew Browning, Boris Bobrov and Simon Fondrie-Teitler have led the MediaGoblin project, supported the infrastructure and worked with numerous new contributors to add new features and bug-fixes. More recently, I’ve stepped up to support them and deal with some of the project admin. I’ve also been working an exciting pilot project here in Australia using MediaGoblin to publish culturally significant media in remote indigenous communities.

Back in February we held the first community meeting in quite a while. We met via a Mumble audio-conference and discussed short-term project needs including problems with the issue tracker, urgent/blocking bugs, a release, a bug squashing party, and the need for this blog post. Next meeting we’ll be diving into some of the longer-term strategy. Keep an eye on the mailing list for the announcement and please join us.

Based on that meeting, our current short-term priorities are:

  1. Improve/replace the issue tracker. There was general agreement that our current issue tracker, Trac, is discouraging new contributions. Firstly, registrations and notifications were not working properly. Secondly, the process of submitting code is more complicated than other modern collaboration tools. Our friends at FSF are currently working to select a new collaboration tool, so we’ll look forward to evaluating their recommendation when it is announced. In the short-term, we’ve fixed the registration and notification problems with Trac to keep us going.

  2. Make a minor release. A release is an important opportunity to highlight the work that’s been done over the last few years such as the multi-resolution video and subtitles I mentioned, as well as important fixes such as to audio upload in Python 3. This will likely also be our last Python 2-compatible release. Many of MediaGoblin’s dependencies are beginning to drop support for Python 2, and time troubleshooting such installation issues takes away from our forward-looking work.

  3. Organise a bug triage/fixing day. We’re planning to nominate a day where a group MediaGoblin contributors will make a concerted effort to resolve bugs. This is aided by having a team across many timezones.

  4. Automate testing of the installation process and test suite. Many of the questions we get to the mailing list are installation or dependency related. By automating our testing, hopefully across a number of popular operating systems, we should be able to reduce these issues and improve the installation experience.

We’ll look forward to telling you about our longer-term plans soon! For now though, from all of us hear at MediaGoblin, please take care of yourselves, your families and communities through the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.

Contributors in the last few years:

  • Andrew Browning (aleph): bug fixes and improvements, merging contributions
  • Boris Bobrov: bug fixes and improvements, merging contributions
  • Chris Lemmer Webber: bug fixes and improvements, community organising, ActivityPub
  • Jessica Tallon: bug fixes and improvements, ActivityPub
  • Vijeth Aradhya: multiple-resolition video transcoding/switching
  • Simon Fondrie-Teitler: upgraded/migrated/managed hosting for website, Trac, mailing lists and wiki
  • Saksham: lightbox, video subtitles
  • Amelia Rose: bug squashing parties
  • Ben Sturmfels: bug fixes and improvements, migrated mailing lists
  • Iyzsong: bug fixes
  • Berker Peksag: Python 3 bug fixes
  • Johnathan Sandoval: login validation improvement
  • Leah Velleman: localisation
  • Loic Dachary: cleanups
  • Matt Dealsy: UI improments (PyCon AU 2016 sprint)
  • Kesra: bug fixes (PyConAU 2016 sprint)
  • Josh Crompton: UI improvements (PyCon AU 2016 sprint)
  • Olivier Mehani (shtrom): OSM tiles, datetime format config
  • Alexandre Frankie: docs improvements
  • Stéphane Péchard: collection option to addmedia
  • Robert Smith: bug fixes
  • Simen Heggestøyl: bug fixes and improvements
  • Romain Porte: tags in API
  • Chrysn: EXIF rotation
  • DPG: license option updates
  • Dod: bug fixes
  • Michael Lynch: dev setup improvements
  • Ian Kelling: set up and imported our mailing lists (twice!)
  • … and apologies to anyone else I’ve missed