New Launchpad release out, news blog online

This morning I was really excited to see the Launchpad 1.1.6 milestone announcement! Launchpad is a collection of services that assist in software development. Ubuntu uses it to manage its specifications, bugs, meetings, events and other assorted things. the Launchpad HowTo describes how this is done.

Among the many details of bugs and new development in this announcement, a few are of particular interest to any Ubuntu LoCo teams using Launchpad to manage their community and keep track of participation:

  • Teams can now only join other teams with the approval of the first team’s administrator.
  • Team members can now renew their own memberships, when their membership is close to expiry if the team is set-up with an on-demand policy.
  • Answer contacts will now receive notification of new questions in their preferred languages only. – as a team administrator, visit any project’s page (like Ubuntu’s, then go to the Answers tab, and choose  » Set answers Contact » from the left menu. Previously you also received notices in English. If you don’t select a preferred language, it will automatically be set to your browser language preferences.

This last feature alone is very important for local teams that wish to have their members keep track of the help they provide to local communities in their native language. I also think it will be a good way to keep answers to common support question out of the mailing lists – sometimes a few technical questions can generate a *lot* of email traffic. An added bonus, you loco team members will get precious karma for every participation.

There were also two nice changes to improve privacy of participants in Answers and the bug trackers:

  • Email addresses inside the Answer and Bug Trackers are now obfuscatedto anonymous (not logged in) users – e.g. Google.
  • Quoted emails and standard signature lines are now stripped from emailed responses to Answer Tracker questions and also bug reports.

There are many more improvements and new features, the full announcement is in the Launchpad-users mailing list archives.

Additionally, there is now a Launchpad News blog now available at – it’s great to have another channel with regular updates and insight directly from the users and developers behind Launchpad.

Now, to make this a perfect « Launchpad fans » day, it would have been lovely to see an update about making Launchpad free and open source under the GPL or another licence… 🙂


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