Launchpad is a collection of web applications and a website that supports the software development, especially the development of free software, and is maintained by Canonical. Launchpad is mostly used for the development of Ubuntu, a Linux distribution, but even more well-known free software such as Inkscape is migrated to the system. Internally, the web application server Zope is built and the Python programming language used.
Launchpad consists of several parts: Projects, a way a program and program collections and development teams to register in the Lauchpad database, comparable with Free Code, a possibility for source code hosting service called code, a department Translations ( Rosetta ) to translate strings in software, bugs ( Malone ) can the developers make public issues a fault management system, the module blueprints, to discuss ideas and designs, and Answers, a knowledge base where users. When compiling the Ubuntu distribution the subproject Soyuz still helps (Russian for "Union" ), the software packages, Mirror and the build system for compiling source code managed.
Launchpad code allows software projects to store source code in a version control system. The module supports also developed by Canonical bazaar revision system, but can import the known CVS and SVN systems. Each registered user can start a new development branch ( Branch), which can be done by the development team in the project. With the Personal Package Archive (PPA ) developers themselves can offer unofficial dpkg repositories for Ubuntu in different processor architectures.
Malone is a bug tracker as a tool for software distributions, however, it can also function as a meta- Bugtracker, bug tracker linked from other projects and regularly asks their status. Thus, redundant work is to be avoided and communication with the Ur - projects (upstream ) can be improved.
Launchpad was initially criticized by members of the open source community, because it was not in spite of the stated goals of the Ubuntu project under a free software license. A complete disclosure of the source code was not planned at first, because you lose as a central summary of all project resources by splitting the position of the platform and open standards do not yet exist for a decentralized model. In addition, it was expected financial disadvantages and pointed out that well-known projects such as SourceForge.net are also proprietary. Over the long term Launchpad are developed from a central to a distributed system and published completely under a free license for web applications such as the GNU AGPL.
However, individual components of Canonical published, which can be useful for other projects separately under a free license. On 9 July 2007 a program library for object-relational mapping has been published. Also to improve the software used in the background like Zope, Twisted, SQLObject and Bazaar by salaried developers of Canonical contributed regularly.
For version 3.0 Canonical promised to disclose the source code of the core components of the development environment. On July 21, 2009 launch pad was then published as a complete open source under the AGPL.