Why Launchpad Rocks: Reviewing Contributions Is Simple

This article is part of a series of articles about why I feel Launchpad is a great home for your Open Source project. I am writing these articles not as an employee of Canonical, but instead as a happy Launchpad user who gets agitated that not enough people know how cool Launchpad is.

Open Source is fundamentally driven by gifts. People contribute translations, documentation, artwork, code and more. Many of these gifts are made available in the form of patches; fragments of content that can be applied to other chunks of content to apply new features, resolve issues or add value in other ways. Patches are wonderful contributions. their authors take the time to care about a problem and invest their expertise and time in producing a solution that everyone can share and benefit from. As such, we should treat these patches with the due care and attention that they deserve.

Something we found in Ubuntu was that we were getting so many patches submitted that many were being lost in the mix and were not getting reviewed and applied if appropriate. This goes against the grain of a gift – we should always review these gifts with a strong sense of care and timeliness. The situation was not driven by carelessness or malice, but instead a lack of visibility on these available patches for a given project.

As such, we worked to build a new feature into Launchpad to provide a simple way of looking at all submitted patches. It looks like this:

Accessing this is simple; just add +patches to the end of a Launchpad project address. As an example for Zope

https://edge.launchpad.net/zope/+patches

This also applies to source packages in Ubuntu. As an example for the Gwibber source package:

https://edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gwibber/+patches

With each of these patch views you can order the patches by patch age, see the current status of the patch, and see it’s importance. This all provides a better way for these important contributions to be reviewed for the benefit of everyone.

See a list of all of these Why Launchpad Rocks articles here.

  • http://www.spandexbob.co.uk Jon

    Ok this series of posts has convinced me to try out Launchpad properly. I’ve submitted a patch in the past but I started a new project recently and have decided on Launchpad to host it. I’ve put my initial code up there and so far so good, I’m certainly liking bzr.

  • jono

    That’s awesome, Jon! Which project?

  • http://tim.freunds.net Tim Freund

    I struggled with Launchpad’s branch and merge proposal process for a while, but Acire’s “Contribute a Snippet” page made it clear. I especially like that a code reviews are available.

    I’m looking forward to contributing more now that I realize how easy it is.

  • jono

    Fantastic, Tim! :-)

  • http://www.spandexbob.co.uk/ Jon

    I’m starting on a linode “dashboard” app, pynode (changing that to plynode). I’ve just sorted out my own linode, finally and I’d like some way to make sure everything is running nicely without having to login to linode via the web.

    Gives me an excuse to start working with launchpad and pygtk. Just got to get working on it now.

  • jono

    Cool – I assume you man this project: https://edge.launchpad.net/pynode :-)

  • https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BrunoGirin Bruno Girin

    Jono, does it mean that you’re going to review all the branches that need merging in python-snippets? ;-)

  • james cj

    sdudud

  • james cj

    fuck you bict