"Advanced editor" status discussion

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007fe30b4b74b8>

I was going to attach the paragraph below to Display more info with “mb. INLINE STUFF” but then I realized I should probably create a new topic for it instead. What I had written by then:

Hmm, the more the features like this are mentioned, the more I think about how an “advanced editor” status with some UI enhancements is needed. Currently, we have userscripts for this, but I believe there should be separate editing UI for editors who apply for “advanced editor” status. Advanced editors could be both regular and autoeditors, since it would not actually change how their edits get applied. Currently we only have new editors (until first 20 edits IIRC) and after that they will become regular editors. Imo editors should apply for the status instead of getting it after certain number of edits, because I have seen editors with thousands of relationship edits and even years of mb membership who would definitely be confused by the “advanced editor” UI and could make a mess of the database.

In my opinion, having the same editing UI for regular editors, whether they have 50 edits or 50 000 edits is just not good enough. Currently, people use userscripts to make a bunch of mass-editing and mass-checking of the data easier and faster. However, I believe everyone will agree that having to use 50 userscripts to be able to do said editing work is a nightmare, mainly because there is high chance that some of the userscripts are not working, are buggy or simply outdated because of how mb is constantly evolving.

With the upcoming redesign, there have been talks of integrating some of the features from userscripts into the main UI which would partially mitigate these problems. However, a new issue will arise from this, and the issue is: Add only those features that wouldn’t make editors submit bad data or add more features but risk editors being confused and/or submit bad data. I personally think this approach causes too much chaos and we need an advanced editing UI for whoever applies for it (of course bad editors could be rejected from having such status so they don’t mess up the database) but I don’t think we need an election like we do for autoeditors for example.

Another benefit is that @chhavi wouldn’t need to be limited so hard when making the new UI. She and all the people who provided feedback on her redesign mockups know that balancing the aspects of the UI to not be confusing and overwhelming for starting or returning editors and not losing existing features/editing flow for existing experienced editors is another nightmare. I would prefer if we got an advanced editing UI with all the current features (and even more features taken from userscripts) on top of the new UI instead of compromising what to show/not show in the new UI because of new editors. You could also have settings in your profile for these advanced functions that came from userscripts, which would make it even better so advanced editors could choose which functions they need. And since all of the features would be native to mb, you wouldn’t need to chase the userscript devs on the script’s github pages and would just open a JIRA ticket instead.

Lastly, I’m not saying all userscripts should be ported into the advanced UI, I’m just saying the most common/useful/time saving ones should be, which is not possible with the regular UI (because regular editors would be confused and/or make a mess from the database).

Any thoughts on this matter? Is there anything that I missed? I apologize for a wall of text I just wrote my thoughts as they went and rolled with it :wink:

Edit: I found a post by @Zas that could be a tl;dr for this post: Your favourite User Scripts for MusicBrainz?! (so that they can be used while redesigning!) - the only arguable thing that came to mind is whether we allow these features for every editor or whether they need to apply for the special status to unlock them (some authority could then check their edits and decide if they are not a danger to the database). Granted, if people wanted to mess with the db at any point, they could just install userscripts and mass submit bad edits.


I am using a lot of user scripts for a while now and have to say that I didn’t run into any big issues with them so far.
Also if there was an issue with one of the features provided by a script it would be much more convenient to simply disable that script and still be able to use all of the other scripts instead of having to turn off the advanced user features all at once.
Less different sets of features mean less work for the developers I’d guess.


TOTALLY agree with you @culinko . If you put too many of these controls on the screen then the noobs will either run away or cause chaos. Long term users here at MB have forgotten how complex the language is here. Releases, Works, Recordings, Tracks, Release Groups…

When I first came here a year ago I just needed to clean up the tags on my CDs using Picard. So I could understand the database from that level and see how it matched up. I uploaded my own CDs and the language slowly started to make sense. It was also easy to add more data at a basic level without screwing up other people’s work.

After a few more months I have slowly expanded the quality and quantity of my data. Now I know how to recognise and merge recordings, releases and so on.

The scripts are a huge hurdle to jump over. So little documentation on them - the basic guides are missing. So you have to dive in feet first and hope.

Even then there are many parts of the GUI I am still coming to terms with.

It seems very sensible to have a sliding scale of editing abilities here. Though I don’t think it should be tied into the auto-editors and those elections. This is more a user level thing. I don’t need to be at “auto-editor” stage to run a complex script. It seems more sensible that after 100 or so edits an OPTIONAL switch appears in the user settings to allow the advanced editing to come into play. This forum already does “badges” and has “training” as part of its own system. Something similar to that would make sense in the main site.

1 Like

I think what I am getting at is that some tasks are just too complex and beyond the comprehension of a noobie. When I was first here I wanted to just update details from my own CDs. Sharing the details I could understand.

Now I want to get my hands on the complex data copying controls that can do bulk edits in one go. Taking my knowledge and abilities to another level.

But as the noob, if I had seen those controls on screen, I would have been too scared of messing it all up. So would not of even added my basic data. There are enough hidden rules to get one’s head around. As can be seen by the number of new members who then end up never returning after some argument over a small detail.

Even five months ago when the thread appears about Your favourite User Scripts for MusicBrainz?! (so that they can be used while redesigning! I ran a mile from it as nothing made any sense to me. Now I have read it for the first time.

A GUI full of extra controls is ideal for the experienced. And looking at how some of the scripts work like mb INLINE STUFF and SUPER MIND CONTROL II X TURBO the fact that parts can be turned on and off is very handy. Again it allows me to learn the new features in small steps.

If there was an option in the settings to “enable advanced scripts” that could then introduce people to more of the popular scripts, but still give them the fine control you point to there that allows each script to then be toggled.

Maybe the Advanced Option is more of an intro to scripting. Though I thank you for giving me a boot to dive in at the deep end with that MASS MURDER script.

1 Like

I don’t use any scripts but I have been thinking about it.
But as far as a user interface goes, if we add too much, editing becomes even more intimidating to new users. (not to mention the aforementioned nefarious users).

When I was editing on Wikipedia, I went into the preferences and added a few tools/gadgets (but nothing that was standalone). I added the ones that were of use to me and I wasn’t bogged down by the ones I didn’t need.

And most importantly, I started with the basic editor and as I grew into editing, I added tools one at a time, getting familiar with each new tool I added before adding another.


Apart from the fact that those won’t be “advanced scripts” but “advanced features”, you are correct. This was exactly what I was talking about, that you could just disable the feature that is currently broken and not all of the advanced features. And @Zas was talking about various presets, e.g. we would have 30 features and clicking on “basic” would turn on the first 5, clicking on “advanced” would turn on the first 15 and clicking on “expert” would turn on all of them, while you could still enable or disable any of the features separately.

I believe I addressed both of these concerns already in my post. New users wouldn’t be bothered by any of this because the features would be disabled for new editors unless they went into their profile and activated them (we might implement some kind of requirements e.g. 500 edits or being an editor for xy days, etc.). And nefarious users can already mess up the database by installing userscripts and submitting bad edits if they wanted to.