Let's have a quick recap of how you can use Launchpad for your project:
Use Launchpad's applications directly: bug tracker, code hosting, user support tracker, translations, specification tracker, distribution package build and hosting, file downloads and so on.
List your project in the directory: gain publicity for your project, make announcements, link to your bug tracker, register your code and make it available through Bazaar.
Of course, you can pick and choose almost any combination of what Launchpad has to offer. The first step is to register your project.
Types of project you can register
You can register any free software project in Launchpad free of charge. To find out what we mean by "free software", take a look at our licensing policy.
Canonical formerly sold commercial subscriptions which allowed the use of commercial-only features, including for projects with non-free-software licences. This scheme is no longer in operation, although use of commercial-only features may still be granted on a case-by-case basis.
If you're not sure that your project's licence is suitable, talk to us about it.
Quick tip: If you want to register a translation team or Ubuntu loco team in Launchpad, please create a new team, not a project.
Registration is straightforward. However, there are a few things to note:
Name: the unique name Launchpad gives to your project and uses mainly in URLs. For example: Avant Window Navigator's name is awn.
Display name and title: used on pages related to your project, these should be the project's full name. For example: Avant Window Navigator.
Summary and description: both appear on your project's home page but only the summary is returned in search results.
Licenses: Explain the terms under which that users can modify and distribute your project's code
If you choose the "Other/Proprietary" license, your project will be awarded a 30-day trial commercial subscription that entitles explore the commercial hosting features.
Note that once you have registered your project you will not be able to change its name by yourself. If you wish change it you can ask an administrator to that for you, read the Feedback page for more information.
Some larger free software projects are actually several related projects working under the same banner. For example: Firefox is part of the Mozilla project. Launchpad represents these as projects (Firefox) and project groups (Mozilla).
Project groups are useful because they give you one place from which to find all the information about the constituent projects.
Read more about the process of registering a project group here.
Sharing confidential information with trusted users
The project maintainer is the default person who can see all the confidential bugs and branches in a project. Maintainers can share kinds of information with trusted people -- only those people can see the confidential information. Project drivers may see who the project shares with, but cannot make changes.
Users may report bugs that contain private and personal information in them. Users and developers may work with bugs and branches that deal with private security issues. Only people that the project shares confidential information can see these bugs and branches. Some users might be directly subscribed to the bug or branch to see just that one thing. Commercial projects have more sharing options and may choose to set policies that control the kind of information bugs and branches are by default, and if the information type can be changed.
We recommend that projects share all information types with their developer teams. Sharing with your organisation team will also ensure your co-workers are informed and can do their job. Avoid sharing with users because they leave projects and organisations; if a user needs access to confidential information either add the user a team that is already shared with or subscribe the user to just the bugs and branches then need to work with.
The bug and branch sharing policies determine the default bug or branch information type, and control what types they may be changed to. Non-commercial projects cannot configure the policies. Bugs and branches are Public by default, but can be changed to Private Security or Private later. Projects with commercial subscriptions can choose other rules to ensure confidential information is never disclosed.
Roles within projects
People and teams can take different roles within your project. For now, the two most important roles are:
Maintainer: has full control of the project and takes all other roles in the project until they are filled by other people or teams.
Driver: exists at both project level and individual series (planned releases). Can approve or decline bugs and blueprints targeted to future series.
Release Manager: The drivers of a series are called release managers. In addition to the driver privileges, the release manager can register and manage the series milestones and releases.
By default, whoever registered the project is its maintainer. However, you can change this to any other person or team in Launchpad use the edit link next next to the maintainer on the project overview page.
Similarly, you can set the driver for the whole of your project with Driver: edit on the Overview. However, it may be more useful to set different drivers for each series, as we'll see later.
Other roles that we'll look at in detail later on include:
- bug supervisor
- translation group
- answer contact.
Next up let's look at telling Launchpad how your project organises its different lines of development and releases.