News and announcements

Launchpad 2.2.7 released

Written for Launchpad Suite by Matthew Revell on 2009-07-22

The Launchpad team is proud to announce Launchpad 2.2.7!

Launchpd 2.2.7 was rolled out this past week and includes:

 * Sharing translations between different releases
 * Automatic merge of project translations to a Bazaar branch
 * Automatically import release files using product release finder
 * Answer contacts can now assign questions
 * Browse package branches that are being uploaded
 * Source code :-)

Read on for more...

Sharing translations between different releases
-----------------------------------------------

Message sharing between different releases of a product or distribution
in Launchpad means that translations done in one release (e.g., trunk)
would immediately apply to translations in another release (e.g.,
stable). This should benefit almost all projects that use Launchpad for
translations.

  * Translators don't have to worry about back-porting translation fixes
    to older releases anymore. They can simply translate the latest
    release; translations will automatically propagate to older
    releases. Also, this works both ways: if you are translating a
    current stable release, newer development release will get those
    updates too!

  * For project maintainers who host their translations in Launchpad,
    when they upload a template to a new release series and it gets
    imported, it will instantly get all existing translations from
    previous releases shared with the new series. Translators won't
    have to re-do their work; They won't have to upload correct versions
    of translated PO files, they can just care about POT files instead.

  * For Ubuntu, there's another benefit: opening a new release for
    translations will take minutes instead of days. Message sharing
    also improves the scalability of the system, and we should soon
    start seeing more performance improvements as the result of
    migrating to this new way of managing translations.

  * If you don't want a particular release to use a shared message, you
    can disable sharing for that message in that release.

See Danilo Ĺ egan's blog post for details:

  http://blog.launchpad.net/translations/sharing-translations

Automatic merge of project translations to a Bazaar branch
----------------------------------------------------------

Launchpad can now commit regular snapshots of your project's
translations to a Bazaar branch of your choice. No more waiting for the
email with the URL! The latest snapshot will always be waiting in the
same place for you to download it. We're doing daily snapshots at
first, though we may change that later depending on usage.

Here's what you do:

You create a branch in Launchpad, of the "Hosted" variety. That means
that the branch lives on Launchpad itself; it can't be mirrored from
somewhere else. (You may need to "bzr init" and "bzr push" an empty
directory from your local machine to get the branch properly set up.)

Then go to the Translations tab for your project. Go to the release
series that you want snapshots of, e.g., trunk.

On the Translations tab for that release series you'll see an option,
"Settings." There, at the bottom, you'll be able to set a translations
export branch. Pick any branch that you own; it doesn't have to be
related to the project.

A word of caution: whatever branch you pick here, Launchpad is going to
commit files to it. It will ruthlessly overwrite any previous versions
of the files. So you probably don't want to use your development branch
for this, or any other branch that you use for other things. We
recommend that you create an fresh branch, and don't use it for anything
else but getting translation snapshots of a single release series.

Automatically import release files using product release finder
---------------------------------------------------------------

The product release finder process runs daily to locate new releases and
import them to Launchpad. It uses each series' release file pattern to
locate files and import them to the appropriate release, and can even
create releases for series.

The project owner and series release manager can set the Release URL
pattern on the series edit page. The pattern is an "ftp", "http", or
"https" URL with a glob (*) in the part of the file name that varies per
release. For example:

   http://widgets.dom/downloads/widget-2.*

describes all files that start with "widget-2.". This might be the
source for two different releases: "widget-2.1.tar.gz" and
"widget-2.2.3.tar.gz". The pattern will also match multiple files that
belong to a single release, such as "widget-2.1.tar.gz",
"widget-2.1.zip", and "widget-2.1.changelog".

Many projects choose to group files in series in a dedicated directory,
in which case the Release URL pattern would look something like this:

   http://widgets.dom/downloads/2.8/*

You can tell the product release finder to search multiple directories
by using a glob for a directory. For example, if your project separates
release files into directories by OS, then you can use

   http://widgets.dom/downloads/*/widget-2.*

to scan "downloads/ubuntu/widget-2.*" and "downloads/mac/widget-2.*".

Be careful to include the common part of the series in the URL,
otherwise files from different series will be imported to the wrong
series. Do not do something like:

   http://widgets.dom/all-releases/*

because any file that looks like it has version information in it will
be imported to one series.

In all cases, the product release finder will extract the version from
the file name, and match it to a milestone name. It will create the
milestone and release it if necessary. If a version cannot be
extracted, the file is simply ignored.

The version numbers extracted from file names will be converted to
conform to Launchpad URL name rules. So if your release files have
underscores or plus signs in their version names, dashes will be
substituted. Flavour information is also ignored in the file name. For
example these file names yield these versions:

   emacs-21.10.tar.gz ==> 21.10
   vpnc-0.2-rm+zomb-pre1.tar.gz ==> 0.2-rm-zomb-pre1
   warzone2100-2.0.5_rc1.tar.bz2 ==> 2.0.5-rc1
   furiusisomount-0.8.1.0_de_DE.tar.gz ==> 0.8.1.0
   glow-0.2.1_i386.deb ==> 0.2.1
   Bazaar-1.16.1.win32-py2.5.exe ==> 1.16.1

See Curtis Hovey's blog post for more information:

  http://blog.launchpad.net/cool-new-stuff/automatically-import-files-to-launchpad-using-product-release-finder

Answer contacts can now assign questions
----------------------------------------

Question listing now includes the assignee column. Answer contacts can
assign a question to a user via the edit page. The assigned user will
receive a notification about the assigned question. An assigned
question will never expire; the assignee is obligated to answer the
question. (Launchpad has supported assigning questions to users for
several years, but the privilege was limited to project owners. This
meant the feature was rarely used. Since the feature was also not
visible, answer contacts often requested that we develop the feature.)

Curtis Hovey's blog post has more details, and more background on how
the Launchpad team came to understand the need for this feature:

  http://blog.launchpad.net/general/answer-contacts-can-assign-questions

Browse package branches that are being uploaded
-----------------------------------------------

You can now browse the package branches that are being uploaded. They
can be seen for the entire distro:

  https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu

Or for a distroseries:

  https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu/karmic

And there's a new view for a source package in a distribution that
groups the distroseries branches:

  https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/apturl

Source code
-----------

The Launchpad source code, that is. Launchpad was open-sourced shortly
before the rollout of Launchpad 2.2.7, so this is the first release of
Launchpad to come with full source code. See this blog post for more:

  http://blog.launchpad.net/general/launchpad-is-now-open-source

Also in release 2.2.7
---------------------

For full details of the bugfixes and blueprints that make up Launchpad
2.2.7, visit its milestone page:

  https://launchpad.net/launchpad-project/+milestone/2.2.7

If you come across a bug, please report it here:

  https://bugs.launchpad.net/launchpad

See you next time
-----------------

Launchpad 3.0 is due on the 21st of September. See the releases
calendar for more:

  https://dev.launchpad.net/Releases/2009Calendar

In the meantime, stay up to date with Launchpad news and views
through our blog:

  http://blog.launchpad.net

As always, you can join us in channel #launchpad on irc.freenode.net and
on the launchpad-users mailing list:

  https://launchpad.net/~launchpad-users

For development discussion, come to channel #launchpad-dev on
irc.freenode.net or to the launchpad-dev mailing list:

  https://launchpad.net/~launchpad-dev

Launchpad is open source

Written for Launchpad Suite by Matthew Revell on 2009-07-21

Launchpad is now an open source project! Get the code and join the developer community.

Read more

Launchpad 2.2.6 released

Written for Launchpad Suite by Matthew Revell on 2009-06-29

The Launchpad team is proud to announce Launchpad 2.2.6, released on June
24th 2009!

In this release we have:

 * enhanced bug tag search
 * project timeline graphs
 * series dashboards: one page with all you need to track a series' progress.

Read on for more!

Enhanced bug tag search
------------------------

Bug tags just became more useful: we've enhanced bug tag search so you can
search for the absence of tags.

Let's say you're spending one week working on bugs tagged "ui" and the next
week on bugs tagged "help-text". Some of bugs may have both the "ui" and
"help-text" tags. If you'd prefer to stick to pure user interface issues, you
can search for those bugs that have a "ui" tag but not a "help-text" tag.

See Gavin's blog post for more:

http://blog.launchpad.net/bug-tracking/searching-bugs-with-tags-now-with-wings

Project timeslines
-------------------

Getting a feel for a project's level of activity can mean trawling through
commit messages, mailing lists and bug reports. If all you want is a quick
overview, take a look at the new timeline on project overview pages.

With one glance, you can see how many series, milestones and releases the
project has.

See our blog post for more:

http://blog.launchpad.net/cool-new-stuff/project-timelines

Series dashboards
------------------

If you need more detailed information on a project's status, you'll want to
use the new series overview pages. They work just like a dashboard for that
series, showing you:

 * the status of bugs and blueprints for each milestone in the series
 * where to find the main code branch for the series
 * if and where the software is packaged.

Take a look at our blog post on series dashboards:

http://blog.launchpad.net/cool-new-stuff/series-dashboards

Trac migration kit
--------------------

A while back, the Elisa project migrated from Trac to Launchpad. They wrote a
tool to help them move. Since then, Launchpad developer Graham has done
further work on the tool and now it's available under the GPLv3.

Read Graham's blog post:

http://blog.launchpad.net/cool-new-stuff/my-migrator-let-me-show-you-it

How to get your translations and templates into Launchpad
----------------------------------------------------------

If you're considering using Launchpad to translate your project, take a look
at our newly updated guide to getting your templates (.pot file) and
translations (.po files) into Launchpad.

https://help.launchpad.net/Translations/ImportPolicy

Also in this release
---------------------

For full details of the bugs and blueprints that make up
Launchpad 2.2.6 visit its milestone page:

https://launchpad.net/launchpad-project/+milestone/2.2.6

If you come across a bug, please report it here:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/launchpad

See you next time
------------------

Launchpad 2.2.7 is due on the 21st of July.

In the meantime, stay up to date with Launchpad news and views
through our blog:

http://blog.launchpad.net

And as always, you can join us in #launchpad on Freenode and on
the launchpad-users mailing list:

https://launchpad.net/~launchpad-users

Launchpad 2.2.5 released!

Written for Launchpad Suite by Matthew Revell on 2009-05-26

The Launchpad team is proud to announce Launchpad 2.2.5, released
on May 26th 2009!

Let's take a look at what's new this month:

 * Edit bug tags in-line: rather than reloading the page each
   time you add, edit or remove a bug tag, Launchpad now does it
   through Ajax. See our blog post for more:
   http://blog.launchpad.net/?p=782

 * Branch activity sparklines: get an overview of the commit
   activity on a project's trunk branch with our new sparkline
   graphs. Read the blog post: http://blog.launchpad.net/?p=792

Launchpad YouTube channel
--------------------------

For video tutorials and overviews of new features, subscribe to
either our new YouTube channel or, if you prefer Ogg Theora, the
Videos page on the Launchpad help wiki.

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/CanonicalLaunchpad
Ogg Theora: https://help.launchpad.net/Videos

Got a request? Email us: feedback@launchpad.net

Also in this release
---------------------

For full details of the bugs and blueprints that make up
Launchpad 2.2.5 visit its milestone page:

https://launchpad.net/launchpad-project/+milestone/2.2.5

If you come across a bug, please report it here:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/launchpad

See you next time
------------------

Launchpad 2.2.6 is due on the 27th of June.

In the meantime, stay up to date with Launchpad news and views
through our blog:

http://blog.launchpad.net

And as always, you can join us in #launchpad on Freenode and on
the launchpad-users mailing list:

https://launchpad.net/~launchpad-users

Updated on 2009-05-28.

Launchpad 2.2.4

Written for Launchpad Suite by Matthew Revell on 2009-04-30

The Launchpad team is proud to announce Launchpad 2.2.4, released on April
29th 2009!

In this release we've introduced translation imports from Bazaar branches.

There's also news from Launchpad's UI guy, Martin Albisetti, and we'll look at
what's changed since we announced the Launchpad 1.0 beta two years ago this
month.

Translation imports from Bazaar branches
-----------------------------------------

We're bringing Launchpad Translations and Launchpad's Bazaar code hosting
together.

Now you can ask Launchpad to make either a one-off or continuous import of any
.po translation files it finds in your project's official series branches. In our last
release we introduced translation template imports from Bazaar branches.

Henning Eggers, who developed the feature, explains more:

  This is ideal for a project's initial translations import into Launchpad. The
  continuous import is also useful for projects who use both Launchpad and
  external translation tools.

There's more in Henning's blog post:

http://blog.launchpad.net/translations/import-translations-from-bazaar-branches

Introducing AJAX in the Launchpad web interface
------------------------------------------------

Spotted green link text in Launchpad? Each time you see a green link you can
click it and know you won't navigate away from the page you're working on.

Over to Martin Albisetti, Launchpad's user experience guy, for more:

  We've started moving towards a JavaScript-driven interface to streamline how
  we all use Launchpad.

  Recently we've been moving common actions over to AJAX, such as marking a bug
  duplicate. In Launchpad 2.2.4, we've released a new milestone picker, which
  allows you to select and create new milestones in-line. As a kick-off for our
  goal of making the bug page work fully in-line, we've also made setting the
  privacy of a bug use AJAX.

  Expect many exciting things to appear on Launchpad's edge servers in the
  following weeks and look out for those green links!

Follow our AJAX interface work at https://blog.launchpad.net/

Two years since 1.0
--------------------

Two years ago this month we announced the beta of Launchpad 1.0! Here's some
idea of how Launchpad has grown since then:

  People registered: 898,261 April 2007, 2,728,657 today
  Projects registered: 2,323 April 2007, 11,475 projects today
  Bug reports: 125,310 April 2007, 367,178 today
  Code branches: 2,459 April 2007, 29,380 today

And of course, since then we've introduced Personal Package Archives, our web
services API, mailing list hosting, code review, plugins for two-way
communication between Launchpad and external trackers, and a whole lot more.

Here's to the next two years and Launchpad's open sourcing this summer!

Also in this release
---------------------

For full details of the bugs and blueprints that make up Launchpad 2.2.4 visit
its milestone page:

https://launchpad.net/launchpad-project/+milestone/2.2.4

If you come across a bug, please report it here:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/launchpad

See you next time
------------------

Launchpad 2.2.5 is due on the 27th of May.

In the meantime, stay up to date with Launchpad news and views through our blog:

http://blog.launchpad.net

And as always, you can join us in #launchpad on Freenode and on the
launchpad-users mailing list:

https://launchpad.net/~launchpad-users

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