eMule Content Database Upgrades

eMule is currently one of the most popular file-sharing clients. Being the most popular on the eDonkey2000 network, it is privileged with a massive user base both directly to the eMule client and indirectly with the number of available “mods”.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

One of the features on the official eMule website is the eMule Content Database. Recently, the content database has undergone some upgrades.

What is the content database? What’s in the content database? For answers to questions like this and more, Slyck caught up with Birk, one of the administrators for the eMule content database.

What is the eMule content database and what is its purpose?

Well basically it’s a service provided by the eMule project team for the eDonkey2000 and Kad network users. It is our way to make free content available for download and also make it easy for our users to find such content. The content database has been online since around new years 2004. This means that any content free of copyright or content allowed by the author to be distributed freely are more than welcome in the content database. Actually we encourage you to post it there so others might use it as well.

What kind of content is popular?

At the moment the content database has 5 different categories being software, music, movies, games and miscellaneous items. By far the most popular category is the software category which consists of around 50% of the total releases. I guess this is due to in my own opinion that there is a large open source interest among many p2p users. There are a huge amount of excellent open source projects of which many are hosted on sourceforge like eMule is.

There are some of our users that make sure the latest releases of such great applications are made available for sharing on the networks. I think it is great that open source applications are shared through another open source application. Also in the music category we have some users who have released some of their own music and not just freely distributed music made by others. I think many people would be amazed at how much great content actually is free. Everything doesn’t have to cost money. The most downloaded item is still eMule itself which have been downloaded more than 21 million times to this day!

How much has the database grown?

At the moment, new members are assigned user id’s around 157,500 so we have quite some members. With roughly 1000 days online, times that is around 157 new members a day, so the site is growing. Like most other sites I would however like to see even more active members on the content database because the usefulness of such a site is based solely on member participation. If no one releases anything there is nothing to download for others. Gladly there are some really dedicated releasers out there which help put a lot of content on the site.

What changes were made to the database?

The content database is based on the code from sharelive. An admin from sharelive helped set up the site at the initial release which we are really grateful for. However sharelive was a multi network link portal which left several chunks of code unused. More so the content database had some issues that I wanted to fix in an effort to continue to deliver a great service. So I made an agreement with one of the eMule developers and set up a local testing environment.

First chore was to clean up the code and remove all unused code and unused files. This was done on the initial release which was uploaded on the 10th of august along with many fixes and new features. The main changes I made for the initial release are: Update of the message centre, new registrations page, many fixes and updates for admins, moderators and releasers, update of the login functions and surely many users favourite we added 6 RSS feeds for the content database. This is just some of the main things as the change log is rather long. We also did some security updates when looking over the code. At least I think the current version of the content database is a nice step forward from the initial code.

Will there be future upgrades?

Yes I have much more in store. Like so often when something is updated you find some errors you didn’t fix or even worse make some new errors yourself. Currently I am completely rewriting the entire message centre system. I am not too fond of popups so decided to make an IPB forum like implementation of a message centre. Also there are plans to extend the search to include some sorting mechanisms to ease members use of the search function. In general I am always looking for ways to update and make the content database more efficient. It is planned to look over all mySQL queries to see if it is possible to optimize them further and speed up the site. I always listen to good ideas and request so if anyone has ideas don’t be shy and let me know.

What do you hope to see happen with the database in the future as well as the type of content posted there?

I hope that a larger part of our registered users start participating more actively on the site. Guess this is the hopes of all sites out there. In regards to updates and new features I am sure I’ll come up with new ideas or the users will. I have found that there are always things to do when working on a site. You are never completely done as there is always something which can be done in a better way. I think such a service here is a great opportunity for bands making music they want people to hear. Some bands even release their music with non copyright agreements making such music possible to share if the bands want it. To the users I would like to say that if they have something they like and it is free to share – start sharing it!

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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