January 20th, 2009

10,000 projects and counting..but then again maybe not.

This is cross-posted, as its waiting for moderation.

Correction, you are publishing some of sourcecode for Launchpad…not all of it launchpad. Is it so very difficult to use qualifiers when you say something? Soyuz is a significant component of the collaborative experience. Most likely the most significant in terms of impacting the Ubuntu community collaboration. Every single time you fail to mention Soyuz I’m going to bring it up.

That 10,000 you quote is a very intriguing number. How many of those 10,000 project registrations are just registered in Launchpad as part of Ubuntu workflow but upstream development is done somewhere else?

“There are 9884 projects registered in Launchpad, of which 2811 have bugs reported, 605 have translations, 6215 have Bazaar branches, 1749 have blueprints, and 1572 have questions & answers.”

Out of that, how many projects “use” Launchpad as part of upstream development? Launchpad’s summary page doesn’t say. Just because a project is registered and has a bzr branch doesn’t mean the upstream project is “using” launchpad… it could just mean that an Ubuntu member is using Launchpad to maintain Ubuntu packages of that project and are thus required to register a project in Launchpad.

Case in point NetworkManager.
“Does not use Launchpad for development.”

But its a registered project in Launchpad, and it has blueprints and it has answers and it has bugs and it has bzr branches and it has ppas (thanks to Soyuz). But its not developed in Launchpad…its developed somewhere else.

Begs the question… what does it really mean to have a project registered in Launchpad?

Sure some projects are correctly listed as “using” launchpad for development, such as Mysql, Elisa and inkscape. But how many out of that 10,000 does that represent? And how many are just registered in Launchpad as part pf Ubuntu workflow, a workflow that requires Soyuz? If the vast majority of that 10,000+ project listings are like NetworkManager or like Blender or like OpenOffice or like FUSE… aren’t you quoting that 10,000 number under false pretenses? Counting every single project registered in Launchpad as part of Ubuntu workflow, doesn’t really give an accurate picture of Launchpad as a project hosting service. So out of that 10,000 how many are really hosted at Launchpad as the primary upstream development? Half? Half of the registered projects in Launchpad only there for Ubuntu distribution work flow?

You need to be more careful with how you throw numbers around. Since Ubuntu’s packaging and release process is intimately tied with Launchpad its difficult to separate out which projects are actually hosted there, and which projects are merely registered there as a necessary requirement for Ubuntu’s packaging process. I know you would certainly hate to think that people were mislead into thinking that 10,000 individual projects were actually using Launchpad for upstream development processes. If you were just a little more careful with how you use the numbers, I wouldn’t need to spend time explaining what you really mean. Unless of course you are quoting numbers that I don’t have access to. let me re-iterate, here is what I see: https://launchpad.net/projects

Out of all those 10,000 projects you say use Launchpad (really 9884, but whose counting)
Only 605 have translations
Only 2811 have bugs reported
Only 1749 have blueprints

6215 have Bazaar branches, but bzr is required for PPA so that maybe indicative of how important Soyuz is.
Did someone mention PPA’s? https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+ppas
* 6324 registered PPAs
* 1504 active PPAs
* 8667 published sources
* 38258 published binaries

38000+ published binaries! 6324 registered PPAs! There are more PPAs than bzr

This is clearly Launchpad’s most used feature, a feature which Soyuz is a critical part of. It’s more used than blueprints or answers. Fascinating, maybe that’s because the Ubuntu contributors as users of Launchpad are more interested in the PPA feature than blueprints or answers. By every metric so far used to justify opening up Launchpad to community contribution, Soyuz has earned the right to be open as well from a community interest perspective. What is holding it back is Canonical’s decision to deeply wed community facing processes with internal business processes in such a way that it makes it more difficult to now give the contributors equitable access to the codebase of the tools they are using.

You are free to see negativity in my advocacy for having Soyuz opened. You are free to claim bad faith, an accusation which presupposes my intentions (and let me remind everyone that you already misidentified me as a Red Hat employee so you have already have shown a willingness to presuppose my intentions). I certainly cannot make a better defence other than to say I am a genuine believer in the idea that open development is the better process, and that the Ubuntu community would be more empowered to innovate if they had complete access to the toolset used to build the distribution.

Even if you aren’t engaged directly with me, I am going to continue to talk about how important Soyuz is to the Ubuntu process when the discussion is relevant. Every single time Launchpad is mentioned in the laypress where I am free to comment, I am going to be refining my arguments about the importance of opening Soyuz. I’m quite sure the laypress will welcome my feedback if its sensational enough to drag more eyeballs to their advertising sponsored websites. But you know this already, you already know how to get press attention. I understand that you have come to a decision, for Canonical business reasons, to keep Soyuz closed. But just because I understand that, doesn’t mean I’m going to let it be. It’s the wrong decision for the community contributors, and I am nothing if not an advocate for equitable treatment of community contributors.