Help files for plugins

If you need any help using it, feel free to post to the “Classical Extras” thread :slightly_smiling_face:. I’m always happy to clarify and extend the help (even though the readme is already by far the most extensive of any plugin).

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This is one of the slightly strange sides of MB… Many of the better features of Picard, or the rules of data entry in MB itself, have got a little lost into the forum. If there is no one to update the help pages, maybe a few links from the help pages into the forum threads could be considered. So much good information is lost into this forum.

Good idea, although I do update the readme regularly with each release. I’ll add the forum link in the readme of the next release.
Meanwhile, if you have downloaded a zip file of the plugin, the readme will be included. The last stable version is 0.9.1 at - For some reason the main plugin page has not been updated from v0.9 which has a slight bug (I have no control over those updates).
The forum thread is at Classical Extras plugin, which is also the place to look for announcements of new releases.

This is heading a long way OT here - so one last note from me. Have a bit of a read of the Plugins page of the Picard manual and you’ll see what I mean.

Most of the plugins are an introductory sentence or two. Great if you already know what it does, not so good for finding out if you need this plugin or not. Your classic plugin is one of the better described in there.

If there are readme files for some of them, maybe these can be converted into a more in depth page? If you want to draw us noobies into those plugins then we need better examples of why your plugin is so good. :slight_smile:

Gone OT as you say and maybe @Freso or someone would like to split the last few posts out to a separate thread “help files for plugins”? I think you raise an important point, which caught me out initially too. The description on is not a help file, it is merely a description, and there are no links to the full documentation for the plugin (assuming it exists). So, if someone wants to find out more without downloading a plugin, it is not easy. To find any detailed documentation, you need to go to the GitHub page and there are no links.
Anyway, for Classical Extras, this is the link:
Another, slightly annoying, thing is that the “available plugins” page is not updated regularly. So the most recent approved release of my plugin (0.9.1) has not made it to the plugins page yet, despite being approved 2 months ago. If you want to use it, please use 0.9.1, not 0.9.

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What I find a little odd is that you are the creator of a plugin that clearly has a lot of work done on it. And sounds like you are active with it too. And this is then lost on us Noobs as we wouldn’t know to search a forum for a thread about it… and to be honest, if I saw a 145 post thread I wouldn’t read the thing anyway. Too long and hard to tell what is current or not in that kind of conversation.

IMHO what is needed is a part of the help file that you as the creator of the plugin can edit. Even if you just paste your readme into the post. The more you can boil down threads like that into “tips” the better. You want to draw me and other noobs in with a WHY I would want to install it.

In a similar vein, a few months back a new thread appeared about “what are the best scripts” but that soon got too long and locked in MB specific language so I walked away from it. (It is not as if I am new to this stuff, I’m also a developer and have decades of experience round forums like this) Clearly Scripts can make this site a really useful place… but these are blocked from new users as the hurdle is too large to know how to get them to work. And the gotchas are lost in a forum post somewhere (lolz - this being a classic example of what I mean… What’s up with scripts? )

(I’ve tried to report my post above where we started to go OT. Lets see if any mods are awake and will split this for us. Hopefully they can literally split a post in half we we need the last paragraph of my waffle up there so this conversation makes sense.)

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I think it is worthwhile to reflect why people write plugins. Often, and certainly in my case, it is because one has a need for something that the ‘vanilla’ software does not provide. There is absolutely no need to share it with anyone but it can be mutually beneficial to do so. Others benefit from the author’s efforts, while the author benefits from additional ideas and testing. Since (certainly in my case) there is no desire to ‘sell’ anything, the issue:

is rather irrelevant to me personally. If someone is sufficiently motivated and curious to want to try it, then fine, otherwise that’s OK too. It’s quite a big plugin and needs a bit of time to understand. If you don’t have a need or desire to tag the hierarchical structure of classical works, then it’s probably not for you.

That said, and this is the reason for this response: I would have thought it would be advantageous for MusicBrainz to support plugin development for Picard to a greater extent than it does now. That would require quite a lot of things to happen, including a more complete and better documented API and a better process for plugin integration, as well as a better way of ‘showcasing’ plugins and helping potential and actual users. I think there are some ideas for this in the pipeline, perhaps as part of the GSOC activity, but I get the sense that it is not much of a priority. If not, then no probs: it’s a community effort, after all, and I’m grateful for the effort that others contribute and hope that what I am able to do helps others too.