The Discogs Database Submission Guidelines are the backbone of Discogs; the product of almost 20 years of community-driven discussion about the best way to catalog all of the music in the world. The Database Guidelines include over 30,000 words detailing precisely how music data should be documented on Discogs.
Discogs hopes these translations will better support our international community, and further aide Discogs’ vision of building the biggest and most comprehensive music database in the world.
With over 11.5 million releases cataloged and more than 6 million artists documented on the Discogs database, Discogs moves one step closer to a truly complete international discography.
No one knows Discogs like our dedicated Database contributors. Translations for the Discogs Database Guidelines are 100% crowdsourced from the Discogs Community.
Being part of the Discogs community translation team is an honor. I’m glad I can bring my contribution to that website, since it helped me develop my passion for vinyl records these last 10 years. Thanks to Discogs, I’ve been able to add a lot of records to my collection… sometimes even records that I couldn’t find anywhere else on the internet. So I think the very least I could do was to return Discogs this favor: Helping translate this website, so more and more music collectors who don’t know any other language than French can now join the Discogs community, and develop their own passion for collecting, just like I did!
We are currently working to complete Spanish and German translations, along with continuing to improve French translations. In the future, we plan to cover more languages based on the progress in these three languages and community interest. We hope our international contributors will join us in this next phase of the Database Guidelines evolution, and considering assisting with translations! Be part of Discogs history and learn more at localization.discogs.com.
(This post was also published on the main Discogs blog in English and French).
It’s been a busy month! Here’s a look at who contributed translations in August 2019:
We’ve made significant progress on the Database Guidelines translation project in French and Spanish, and we’ve made some major improvements to Discogs.com website translations in Russian and Portuguese!
We’ve also started adding some localized posts to the Discogs Blog. And we have several more translated posts ready that will be added soon.
Thanks to everyone who helped with translations in August!
The Discogs team has also been busy working on localization improvements
Here are a few of the localization-related projects the Discogs team is working on:
The first steps of Mobile App internationalization are complete! The iOS and Android app teams have linked their code repositories to Transifex, and have started the first steps towards internationalizing that code.
In July, we continued to make steady progress with French, Spanish, and German translations. LetsBoogie is at the top of the leaderboard with over 4,000 words contributed to the French translations of the Database Guidelines. Spanish translations have been a group effort with help from Sergio_Reyes, Martin_H_Unzon,macaumetal,Jevo, fablaser, and waxsessions. Here’s our top 5 Translator leaderboard:
July Database Guidelines Translator Leaderboard
We now have 13 of the 23 sections of the Database Guidelines translated into French and Spanish. Thanks to everyone who continues to help with this ambitious project as we work towards our overall goal of cataloging all the music in the world!
Week 9 of our Database Guidelines Translation Project is complete! Spanish contributors chipped away at the remaining untranslated phrases, and at the end of the week we have made it to 100% translated in both Spanish and French!
German is falling a little behind; in July we’ll start recruiting more German contributors to help with translation.
Database Guidelines Week 9 Leaderboard:
macaumetal (Spanish) 1,074 translated words / 0 edited words
It’s another light week! Database Guidelines section 9 is all about Genre and Styles, and is fairly short. Only 175 words to be exact, and already about 50% of the strings are pre-translated for you (thanks to the Translation Memory). Of course, feel free to update any of those translations if needed.
There is something we need to decide on though: the Submission Form doesn’t currently display translated Genre and Style names. So should we leave them untranslated in the Guidelines for now? Or should we translate them anyway and push to get the Submission form better internationalized ASAP? Let me know your opinion in the Database Guidelines: Translate Discussion thread.
Hopefully, this section will be relatively straight-forward. I’ve tried to clarify a few things by adding String Instructions ahead of time. If any other strings need clarification, please just let me know (mark it as an “issue” and write a comment).
Reviewers now have the ability to initiate a translation sync!
In the past, syncing with Transifex didn’t happen very often because it was a rather manual and tedious process that only a developer could initiate.
New and updated translations are added when a Transifex project resource gets to 100% translated AND reviewed in a specific language.
That’s really all you need to know: get a resource to 100% translated and reviewed in your language, and those translations will get added to the website within a few days! But if you want to know the nitty-gritty, read on…
Each language syncs individually. Meaning if all strings a specific resource are translated and reviewed in French, then all French translations in that resource will be updated. But the translations for other languages for that resource aren’t updated until they also reach 100% translated and reviewed.
Each resource syncs individually. Meaning once all strings in the “messages_js.pot (master)” resource are reviewed (and there are no untranslated strings), then all French translations in that resource will be updated. But the French translations in the “messages.pot (master)” resource are only synced when that resource also gets to 100% translated and reviewed.
When a reviewer initiates a sync, the translations won’t display immediately. When you initiate a sync, it opens a pull request that a developer still needs to merge in GitHub. So you’ll need to wait until a developer merges that pull request before you see changes online. Developers will generally merge those translation pull requests quickly, but they only merge new code Monday-Thursday.
A sync is only initiated when a resource gets to 100% translated & reviewed. When a resource is already 100% translated and 100% reviewed, just updating a translation won’t trigger a sync. You’ll need to actually unreview a string, and then re-review it to make sure a sync is initiated.
If you ever have questions, or want to double-check that a sync was indeed initiated, please just ask the Transifex Team Coordinator.
The Discography and Database Guidelines have come a long way in the last two decades! Your translations make you an integral part of Discogs’ History! Read more about the Evolution of the Database Guidelines!
Just hours after we got to 100% complete in French, I’m going to ruin it and add the next section of the Guidelines to Transifex…
Discogs began in early 2000, as a hobby project by DJ and developer Kevin Lewandowski. He was looking for a better way to catalog his electronic music collection. The very first release Kevin added to Discogs was Stockholm by The Persuader.
In October 2000, when Keven first invited other music lovers to add to the discography, there were no Database Submission Guidelines. Kevin started by adding about 250 of his own records and CDs, and hosted Discogs on a scrap Pentium II server in his closet.
Contributors started as a small, but dedicated group. All submissions were entered into a loosely structured form which did not support credits. Kevin would then manually check each and every submission, and fix any typos and capitalization errors!
By February 2001, Discogs included 1,943 releases and 2,440 artists, but only 56 contributors. Kevin was still the top contributor, but several other contributors were closing in. At this point, there was a simple FAQ rather than Database Submission Guidelines:
Labels and releases only displayed after they were manually reviewed, edited, and approved. In 2001, Kevin gave about 10 users access to edit and approve submissions. These users were referred to as editors. So, although there weren’t Submission Guidelines for guidance, there was more manual oversight. Users could also ask questions and get feedback in the original Discogs Forums.
Later in 2001, the submission form was rewritten, and less manual oversight and editing was needed. However, data still needed approval before being added to Discogs; about 50 of the top contributors were given access to the approval form, and this was the beginning of the Moderators group.
As of 2004, there was still a distinct editors and moderators group. Editors could moderate, and also had access to process the updates submitted to labels, artists, releases.
Official Submission Guidelines
In 2004, Kevin rewrote the whole submission form again. The major change was that the underlying release data structure was much more flexible, immediately allowing multiple artists and labels per release, multiple artists per track, and multiple credits per track. Furthermore, the release history functionality was added, allowing contributors to see the previous updates on submissions.
As the discography and contributor community continued to grow, it was clear that simple FAQs weren’t enough guidance for the contributor community. A group of editors and moderators worked together to document how to properly add data to Discogs. By the end of 2004, there was a 2,272 word summary of how to use the “Add Release Form.” It’s easy to see how this document evolved into the Submission Guidelines we use today.
The Discogs community had been asking for easy tools to help with buying and selling. So the Discogs Marketplace was added in 2005. Before Marketplace tools were added, many users were simply using their Collection as a way to list items they wanted to sell! Although the Marketplace addition didn’t fundamentally change the underlying discography, it brought in more users interested in buying and selling. Many of these new users eventually contributed items to the database. As the functionality of Discogs expanded, so too did the documentation explaining how to add information to the discography.
By 2006, the Submission Guidelines were basically a condensed version of our current guidelines. The Submission Guidelines document was 7,803 words long, and included only seven sections. Here’s a snippet from the Submission Guidelines in January 2006:
Moderation And Voting
Discogs continued to grow. In January 2007, Discogs documented 793,581 releases, 668,356 artists, and 70,110 labels. However, manual moderation was starting to cause problems. In August of 2007, there were over 20,000 items in the queue awaiting moderation. This resulted in delays, duplicate submissions, and general frustration.
In March 2008, a drastic shift took place for Discogs submissions: Data was no longer subject to manual moderation. Discogs moved from a moderation system to a voting system.
‘As Discogs has grown, the submission system and user requirements have created ever more detailed and complicated submissions. With over 10,000 active submitters and less than 500 moderators, the task of moderating has become harder and more involved than before. By moving the voting to a greater percentage of the Discogs user base, and enabling a graduated voting system, we will give more people, especially those who own the release, the ability to register their opinion on the quality of the data entered into the site.’
There were many moderators who were frustrated with this change. Many feared that Discogs couldn’t maintain as high standards after this restructuring of the data quality control process. Although some moderators decided the new system wasn’t to their liking and stopped contributing, the new system ultimately helped Discogs continue to grow.
‘It caused something of a mass exodus. It was during that time that I decided with the playground bullies all gone, it was my time to take over and keep the fire going.’
Over the years, the guidelines grew to cover more situations, edge cases, and examples. In early 2009, there were 16 main sections to the guidelines (sections were added for general rules, title, format, release notes, images, updating an artist profile, updating a label profile, reviews, and removing a release).
It wasn’t until April 2009 that the concept of a “master release” was added to Discogs. In the announcement about the release, a link to the new master release section of the guidelines was included. As always, it was a community effort to discuss and improve this section of the guidelines:
‘Since this is a brand new function, we may well come across examples that don’t fit the guidelines, and will need discussion and guideline updates.’
By February 2010, the Submission Guidelines were broken into 21 sections. The same 21 sections that exist in our current version of the Submission Guidelines. The exact text in each section has been modified and expanded, but the majority of guidelines haven’t changed considerably since 2010.
Submission Guidelines Localization
Almost two decades after Discogs was founded, the Discogs Database Submission Guidelines continue to evolve. We have begun to translate the Discogs Database Submission Guidelines! In order to truly support that global goal to “catalogall the music in the world,” it’s time we make the guidelines more accessible to international music-lovers.
Translations are needed in order to truly support the Discogs goal of building the biggest and most comprehensive music database in the world. And we have an excellent localization system in place to help contributors collaborate and reach translation decisions together.
We are currently adding guideline translations in French, German, and Spanish. In the future, we plan to cover more languages based on the progress in these three languages and community interest.
We hope our international contributors will join us in this next phase of the Database Guidelines evolution, and considering assisting with translations! Be part of Discogs history and learn more at localization.discogs.com.