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Open-source MU

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Oxwivi
Post #502795
Member

4:03 pm, Oct 22 2011
Posts: 34


Ever since I joined, there hasn't been any changes, development or any improvement in the website despite the user activity here.

MU is far from perfect, I've gathered quite few things in my wishlist:
- importing lists
- better volume and chapters per volume support
- proper filtering and ordering, wherever it applies
- APIs for third-party access maybe

And the list goes on.

Now I'm using this service for free, I can't really demand something from the admins and the owner of the site. But since the website code isn't anything of significant monetary value, I would like to suggest open-sourcing it and hosting it on someplace like GitHub. There's an enormous number of users at MU, quite possibly many of them have web development skills. I think we can leverage our user-base for improving the website that has faithfully served them for so long.

Of course open-sourcing it doesn't mean it will be developed towards whatever directions the contributors code to - the project owners will be deciding that.

Neither does it mean someone will or can take the code to create a competing site. MU has gathered a gigantic community over the course of time, it simply won't vanish to somewhere else.

I sincerely hope I presented a compelling case.

Joentjuh
Post #502850
user avatar
Member

9:17 pm, Oct 22 2011
Posts: 293


Now, I'm not against the idea (not that I have any sway on the matter smile ) and might even love the addition of API, but I think it unlikely they will go fully open-source.
- Website code, while not the most valuable, can be a big security risk when made public.
- Code you've spent years on making and 'perfecting' will be open to the public and can be 'borrowed' easily.
- If the code is made public, then so is the (general) database structure, which could also provide a rather big security risk.
- Going open-source would require (from personal experience) some rather time consuming code clean-ups.
- Time spent on maintaining, testing and merging code would go up considerably (which is also the more boring process of development)
- Who is responsible for features added by the community (a bug tracking and ticket system would also be needed)?

That said, I believe MangaUpdates has a big enough foothold and community to consider this. The risk of losing members to an imitation site (that stole/steals content from mangaupdates) is unlikely... Especially if MangaUpdates keeps improving and expanding their interface to support the ever growing needs of their users.

If MangaUpdates were to consider this, I would recommend not making it all public, but maybe on an invitation only basis. Screen potential developers first and maybe only give access to certain (low-risk) parts of the site.

________________
Who they, what are, and why?
- Manga Cover Database -
Spikexp
Post #502857
user avatar
Member

9:35 pm, Oct 22 2011
Posts: 22


Website are hard to make open source, it's not like a simple program.
Importing list can be done easily.
Volume/Chapter support too.


What I would love to see the most, is a web site like mu but for anime... I didn't found any good anime database site that do what I use mu for (keep track of new chapter, where I am, list of team and link to the team when release). That' the kind of website we could see if the code go open.

Joentjuh
Post #502858 - Reply to (#502857) by Spikexp
user avatar
Member

9:39 pm, Oct 22 2011
Posts: 293


Quote from Spikexp
Website are hard to make open source, it's not like a simple program.
Importing list can be done easily.
Volume/Chapter support too.


What I would love to see the most, is a web site like mu but for anime... I didn't found any good anime database site that do what I use mu for (keep track of new chapter, where I am, list of team and link to the team when release). That' the kind of website we could see if the code go open.


Not really sure if I'm allowed to do this, but there's AniDB for anime, which isn't that hard to find... Not open-source though but with a very expansive feature-set (and it has an API)

I think Oxwivi meant something more along the lines of VNDB. That site has been build from the start that way though.

Last edited by Joentjuh at 11:40 pm, Oct 22

________________
Who they, what are, and why?
- Manga Cover Database -
Spikexp
Post #502859
user avatar
Member

10:02 pm, Oct 22 2011
Posts: 22


Oh, I use vndb sometime, didn't knew it was open source. Nice.

I also use aniDB, but it don't have the same feel as mu, it's ugly (in the way that there is too much thing). Also, it list episode that didn't even aired yet (persona 4 for exemple).
I still give it it's chance, but the page are so full of content it make me dizzy XD

Oxwivi
Post #503003 - Reply to (#502850) by Joentjuh
Member

2:52 pm, Oct 23 2011
Posts: 34


Quote from Joentjuh
Now, I'm not against the idea (not that I have any sway on the matter smile ) and might even love the addition of API, but I think it unlikely they will go fully open-source.
- Website code, while not the most valuable, can be a big security risk when made public.
- Code you've spent years on making and 'perfecting' will be open to the public and can be 'borrowed' easily.
- If the code is made public, then so is the (general) database structure, which could also provide a rather big security risk.
- Going open-source would require (from personal experience) some rather time consuming code clean-ups.
- Time spent on maintaining, testing and merging code would go up considerably (which is also the more boring process of development)
- Who is responsible for features added by the community (a bug tracking and ticket system would also be needed)?

That said, I believe MangaUpdates has a big enough foothold and community to consider this. The risk of losing members to an imitation site (that stole/steals content from mangaupdates) is unlikely... Especially if MangaUpdates keeps improving and expanding their interface to support the ever growing needs of their users.

If MangaUpdates were to consider this, I would recommend not making it all public, but maybe on an invitation only basis. Screen potential developers first and maybe only give access to certain (low-risk) parts of the site.

You might be right about the security risks, but well, this isn't a company with trade secrets and patents. I doubt anyone after money would find anything valuable. wink

We're open-sourcing the code, not making the content available, i.e. the database. So even if a copycat crops up (as I mentioned in the OP), they will have two significant pieces missing: one, the content, the huge list of manga and light novel titles; two, community - MU has a gigantic community, it will be next to impossible for all of us to jump ships to some new place.

Quote from Spikexp
Website are hard to make open source, it's not like a simple program.
Importing list can be done easily.
Volume/Chapter support too.

I posted here regarding volume chapter and few other things. The response was 'it's kind of difficult, we can't do it right now' or something along those lines.

Quote from Spikexp
I also use aniDB, but it don't have the same feel as mu, it's ugly (in the way that there is too much thing). Also, it list episode that didn't even aired yet (persona 4 for exemple).
I still give it it's chance, but the page are so full of content it make me dizzy XD

While I don't think AniDB is particularly beautiful, it doesn't look bad at all. Can't even compare to MU. You can also customize AniDB to a great extent.

laxarus
Post #605815
user avatar
 Member

1:16 am, Jul 3 2013
Posts: 65


Damn, I know this is an old topic and found this topic while looking for MU API information but i had to get this out. It's been 6 years since i joined MU and there's been no significant updates. While I love the feel of MU, it's falling behind the age bc there is no improvements. Suggestion topics keep piling up. I am aware of the difficulties of developing a free service. But MU has a huge community, I am sure there are a lot of frustrated people who is capable of web developing and want to improve MU but cannot find such a chance. Open sourcing is one idea, the other one is recruiting web developers from users to make a change. I don't know how you guys think but AniDB also offers free service but they are well ahead of MU in terms of developing their site. And i gotta say, they make a fine job of it considering AniDB offers lots of features and details.

________________
Im tempted to kill the general first, then his staff officers. Sometimes you just want to eat pudding early. All the same, I make myself wait.

The good guys fight for freedom, justice and most words that dont put food on the table. The bad fight to scrub those words from our speech. Only problem is, both sides claim to be good.
lynira
Post #605902 - Reply to (#605815) by laxarus
user avatar
Site Admin

5:08 pm, Jul 3 2013
Posts: 425


Quote from laxarus
But MU has a huge community, I am sure there are a lot of frustrated people who is capable of web developing and want to improve MU but cannot find such a chance.
If you have the skills and want to help with coding, you could PM a staff member (probably Manick) offering to volunteer. I personally don't know how strict he will be about accepting, but I don't see any harm in offering (again, provided you have the skills).

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Manga Cover Database
laxarus
Post #605972
user avatar
 Member

7:42 am, Jul 4 2013
Posts: 65


Though I have web development skills, i am not confident enough to work with MU yet. But I do want to help. If you guys are in need of web developers and skilled ppl in such areas, why not open a Recruitment topic or some web site recruitment section for available positions and such? I believe, this is a good idea.

________________
Im tempted to kill the general first, then his staff officers. Sometimes you just want to eat pudding early. All the same, I make myself wait.

The good guys fight for freedom, justice and most words that dont put food on the table. The bad fight to scrub those words from our speech. Only problem is, both sides claim to be good.
slyborg
Post #609428
Member

5:26 am, Aug 2 2013
Posts: 6


I'd like to add a vote for the addition of an API to access the database. I've wanted to add B-U lookup capability to an irc bot for some time, but doing this via scraping is incredibly tedious, as well as extremely 2002. Even a simple JSON interface for querying titles would be a vast improvement, and with some thought a complete API could allow people to write their own front-ends for B-U.

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