Canonical releases source code for Launchpad
Canonical, the founder of the Ubuntu project, announced that it has open-sourced the code that runs Launchpad, the software development and collaboration platform used by tens of thousands of developers. Launchpad is used to build Ubuntu and thousands of other projects, and its users can now participate directly in the development of Launchpad itself.
Launchpad allows developers to host and share code from many different sources using the Bazaar version control system, which is integrated into Launchpad. Translators can collaborate on translations across many different projects. End-users identify bugs affecting one or more projects so that developers can then triage and resolve those bugs. Contributors can write, propose, and manage software specifications. In addition, Launchpad erases barriers to collaboration by enabling people to support each other's efforts across different project hosting services, both through its web interface and its APIs. Launchpad has everything software projects, open source or not, need to be successful.
"Launchpad accelerates collaboration between open source projects," said Canonical founder and CEO Mark Shuttleworth. "Collaboration is the engine of innovation in free software development, and Launchpad supports one of the key strengths of free software compared with the traditional proprietary development process. Projects that are hosted on Launchpad are immediately connected to every other project hosted there in a way that makes it easy to collaborate on code, translations, bug fixes and feature design across project boundaries. Rather than hosting individual projects, we host a massive and connected community that collaborates together across many projects. Making Launchpad itself open source gives users the ability to improve the service they use every day."
"Since the Drizzle project's start in April, 2008, its community and contributors have used Launchpad as a platform for managing code and development tasks, and as an efficient method of communication between community members regarding bugs, workflow, code reviews, and more." said Jay Pipes, Core Developer on the Drizzle Project at Sun Microsystems. "Launchpad makes it easy to take all the disparate pieces of software development – bug reporting, source control, task management and code reviews – and glue them together with an easy-to-use interface that emphasizes public and open community discourse."
Launchpad hosts open source projects for free, but closed source projects use the service for a fee. This means that projects can utilize the features that Launchpad provides but do not need to share code if that is not desirable. The privacy features are currently in beta, and will be added to the commercial service as they become available.