Abbreviations in community posts

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007ff3b72f5820> #<Tag:0x00007ff3b72f56e0> #<Tag:0x00007ff3b72f5578> #<Tag:0x00007ff3b72f53e8>


I really like to poke arround in posts at the MusicBrainz community forum and especially to take a look what goes around under the hood (example: Notes from #MetaBrainz Meeting). But what it makes sometimes really hard are all these used abbreviations. For some I could guess, some others I could research with a search engine others stay a big questionmark. I know that you all of you are really busy and most volunteers, but maybe could you please write on first usage the full words with abbreviation in brakets? We are not all native English speakers and sometimes abbreviations have a different meaning in other languages. The more it gets confusing…

Or maybe we could start a community area with a list of abbreviation meanings and a short explanation (with link to something more helpful)?



Happy to try to help with some of them if you give examples, for now :slight_smile:


So I’ll start a try on last “Notes from #MetaBrainz Meeting” and you say if I’m right or wrong? Just for fun/showing the dilemma I added others in parantheses.


Pretty sure MeB is MetaBrainz


RL is just “real life”. MeB is MetaBrainz, yes. From the others there, “pg perf” is probably just PostgreSQL performance, because it’s been bad lately, and the rest seems right :slight_smile:


I think I’ve seen “MSB” used for MessyBrainz.

RG - Release Group
AC - Artist Credit?

This might make a good wiki page.


And in fact, we already have a couple!:

But as is the case with many wiki pages, we simply don’t have enough people doing WikiWardening (see also History:Wiki Wardening) to keep these up to date (or maybe get them consolidated). We have had a few people every not and again that do a great job, but the wiki is full of stuff, so no one person can clean up everything, and some stuff is more obscure than other, so gets looked at less often.

Anyway, more WikiWardens would definitely be most welcome. I’m happy to discuss things on IRC if anyone wants to try and clean up some stuff in the wiki. :slight_smile:


LOLz - the OP points out problems with TLAs and the MB community responds with requests for discussion on IRC. :laughing:

Which is the point - too many of us talk in slang \ jargon and this locks people out of discussions. Especially those who don’t have English as a native language. I’m a coder and soon gave up trying to read the MB Dev stuff in this forum.


LOLz - Lots of Laughs
OP - Original Poster
TLA - Three Letter Acronym
MB - MusicBrainz
IRC - Internet Relay Chat


I absolutely agree that we should be mindful of not being too exclusive in the language, but some level of domain specific language is to be expected. It doesn’t make sense to mention that a Release in MusicBrainz is a «unique release (i.e. issuing) of a product on a specific date with specific release information such as the country, label, barcode and packaging» every time it is mentioned, nor does it make sense to say that Python is «an interpreted high-level programming language» (and then you’d have to explain those additional terms) every time someone mentions they’re doing something with Python, or that IRC is «an application layer protocol that facilitates communication in the form of text» which is one of the main ways we communicate in MusicBrainz/MetaBrainz (another wiki page that could probably do with being more prominent). At some point adding all these explanations (over and over and over and over again) will result in too much noise-to-signal to be useful for communicating.

If you have a suggestion for how to alleviate the situation, I’m happy to hear it.

I wish you would ask instead of give up. What MB dev stuff were you trying to read that you gave up on?

I’m still not sure how this would have helped. (Also, I’ve never heard/seen “IRC” called “Internet Relay Chat” informally/casually (IRC is not a MusicBrainz community specific phenomenon), similar to how you don’t unabbreviate “modem” or “laser”. It can be done for effect, but for most intents an purposes, the abbreviation is the thing.)

Also, you missed one:
Dev - development :slight_smile:


Heh, it took years to finally kill off and bury the MusicBrainz mailing lists. At least IRC is a very direct way of communicating with people, which supplements this forum nicely.


At least on the forum there is a solution for that:
On the Fairphone Forum we have a dictionary category filled with wiki topics that all have a unique tag, so you can e.g. talk about #dic:root in a sentence without explaining what that is and someone who doesn’t understand the word gets to an explanation with just two clicks.

Another option would be to enable PMs (private messages) in the forum and ditch IRC.


But private messages are a form of 1:1 communication, while IRC is a group chat. They are quite different things, with different use cases.


You can invite as many individual people or predefined groups as you want into a Discourse PM.


Do not forget the IRC archiving option. You can search the IRC archive for anything that interests you.


Forum usernames are (mostly) 1:1 the same as their MusicBrainz usernames. If you want to PM someone, you can go to their profile and click the “send email” link, see e.g.,

This still doesn’t make it a public discussion. And forum PMs are more alike to e-mails than to chat conversations, so not a replacement for IRC.

If you’re interested in following the progress for a more flexible MetaBrainz messaging system, consider following and (one of that options that have been on the table was to just integrate Discourse DMs into all the sites, if possible).

This might be an interesting approach. I’ll look into this. Thanks!


No, but for public discussions there is the forum, right?

Why spread the discussions (and therefore knowledge) on so many instances?
I know decentralization is a good thing for some things, but not if it means you have to follow multiple instances (forum, IRC, edit notes, …) to keep up with what’s going on.


And IRC, yes.

We’re actually down to 2 places now. We used to have IRC + forums + mailing lists. Our use of Discourse has effectively merged the forums and mailing lists (you can interface with Discourse as a mailing list if you wish), but people who prefer a more instant, short-form communication such as chatting will not be happy with Discourse, and for some things (like the Monday meetings and system maintenance coordination and idle chatter) this format just works better.

FWIW, discussions also take place on the ticket tracker, in blog posts and comments, in edit notes, and probably elsewhere. We’re going to lose interactions with/between a number of contributors if we cut out IRC, so we’re rather looking into cutting down on the other places where discussion happens, rather than cut IRC out as things look right now.


How did you do that? :open_mouth:


Magic. :mage: :wink:


Awesome. For abbreviations this clearly works better than unique tags.
In combination with the FoxReplace addon for firefox you can set this up to automatically happen for some common abbreviations like: AFAIK, FYI, TL;DR, etc