Launchpad is a new project, offering development tools to open source projects. They provide a bug tracker, a feature request (specification) tracker, a translation interface, a support request tracker, and - most importantly - bzr branches. On this page, we will discuss the move to Launchpad.
What Launchpad offers
Launchpad offers the following features to its users:
- Free bzr branches, for both projects and users. This is the most important reasons why Chameleon would switch to Launchpad. Currently, all development is happening behind closed doors, because we don't have the resources available to publish our bzr branches. Launchpad offers integrated bzr support, which makes it easy to allow different functionality to be implemented by different people in different branches.
- A bug tracker. Although we currently already have a bug tracker at RubyForge, the one at Launchpad seems to be at least as usable as RubyForge's. Launchpad's bug tracker allows to keep control of bugs that appear in different versions.
- A specification tracker. Currently, all new features for Chameleon already get a page on the "dev" part of this wiki. All these pages, and the status of the features described on these pages, could be tracked in a unified interface in Launchpad.
- A translation interface. At this moment, it isn't possible to translate Chameleon, so this feature is useless to us.
- A support request tracker. Currently, Chameleon has both forums and a "Support Requests" tracker on RubyForge. If there's a certain advantage in using Launchpad's support request tracker isn't sure yet.
- A large community, willing to contribute. Launchpad users can join different teams, which will for example take care of the translation. It's easy to browse through the different projects in Launchpad, and find those with unresolved bugs or untranslated strings.
What Launchpad doesn't offer
These are some of the features Launchpad doesn't offer, but we could use:
- Downloads. You can't host files on Launchpad.
- We'll have to keep using RubyForge for this.
- Mailing lists. Launchpad doesn't offer mailing lists to its projects.
- Although we're currently not using this, RubyForge offer mailing lists.
- Forums for discussion. Launchpad offers a support request tracker, but no forums for discussion.
- RubyForge offers this, and Wikidot too. Probably, the Wikidot forums will be most suited.
First of all, Chameleon needs to be registered at Launchpad. Next, we'll need to port data in existing tools to Launchpad, and start using the new tools at Launchpad. The first tasks will happen while version 0.6.0 is still under development, so that when version 0.6.0 is publicly released, all users can depend on the Launchpad tools, and they won't have to post questions on the RubyForge forums to then find their post deleted.
The first thing that should be ported to Launchpad are the bugs and feature requests. There currently are few of them, so they're easy to port manually, if Launchpad's automatic conversion wouldn't work with RubyForge's bug tracker. After the move, the trackers at RubyForge can be removed and all links can be updated to point to Launchpad.
Next, it's probably best to port the forums to Wikidot. During a hopefully not too long time span, we'll have forums at both RubyForge and Wikidot, but as soon as the forums at Wikidot are set up and usable, we should start using those. The forum functionality at RubyForge can then be disabled.
At the same time, we'll need to create feature requests for all non-finished specifications in this wiki. This shouldn't be a too hard task.
Finally, we can start creating bzr branches at Launchpad, and use those instead of local branches. This process may not be as straightforward as the other tasks, but Launchpad provides extensive help. This should fall together with the start of the 0.6.1 release.