Strong communities are built on teams. Launchpad has a very rich infrastructure to support the creation of teams, which allows communities to develop in a sophisticated fashion around projects or initiatives.
Let's look at a team:
Here's a snapshot of part of the page at the time of writing:
As you can see, this has two lists of people: folks whose membership has been recently approved and people who have recently applied but have not yet been approved. This highlights a useful feature of Launchpad team management: membership subscription policies.
Launchpad allows you to choose from three types of membership subscription policy:
Entirely open: anybody can join simply by adding themselves.
Moderated: anybody can apply to join, but the team administrators must approve their membership. This is how the Launchpad Beta Testers team runs.
Restricted: the only way to join a team is to be added by one of its administrators.
These subscription policies are similar to those used for mailing lists. They allow you, as the creator or administrator of a team, to decide how flexible you want to be, and to maintain good control of the growth of your community, if you choose.
Notice that Launchpad Beta Testers is not a sub-team of any other teams? Launchpad allows you to make a team a member of another team.
For example: if Team A becomes a member of Team B, all the members of Team A effectively become members of Team B; that is, they get all the same permissions and access to all the same goodies. Technically they are "indirect" members of Team B, but that makes no difference, they are treated exactly the same as people who joined Team B directly.
Let's look at another team:
Here is the relevant part of the screen:
MOTU ("Masters of the Universe") is a very important team in Ubuntu because it's the one that looks after the largest collection of packages. It is also where most developers first get recognized as full contributors to Ubuntu.
As a result, the MOTU team is a member of several other teams. Structuring things that way means that "all new Ubuntu developers" become members of those other teams too.
There is no practical limit to the depth of team nesting that you can arrange. For example, we have some community teams that are organised by regions of a country. That country then also has a national team, consisting only of the regional teams. This way, everyone who is a member of a regional team is also a member of the national team but administration of individual memberships is handled by the regions.
Once you have created a team, you can add both people and other teams as members. You can then use your team just about anywhere that you might use an individual person. For example, you can make a team the assignee of a bug, or the driver of a project, or the translator of a piece of software.
Teams are all about collaboration, so one of the nicest features of Launchpad takes advantage of them to make it easy for a team to collaborate on a set of software package. Welcome to Personal Package Archives!