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Canonical hippies spread Ubuntu Launchpad love

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Ubuntu teaser

OSCON Canonical, Ubuntu's commercial sponsor, next week plans a major update to its massive code hosting and project management platform Launchpad.

Version 2.0 will introduce improved support for third-party application lifecycle tools used to find, report and fix bugs in Ubuntu - plus the applications and 6,000 projects in the ecosystem around it. Canonical has been talking up the new service at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON).

Launchpad 2.0 will feature a beta version of a planned API that'll allow third-party applications to authenticate, query and modify data in the massive Launchpad database, without a user needing to manually access the system via a browser.

There's no word on final availability, but this is expected with the next update during the next year.

A set of GPL plug-ins will be provided that let you plug Bugzilla or Trac into Launchpad, to find and fix common bugs and share comment histories. The Bazaar version control system has been updated to support a larger number of projects.

Bazaar got an endorsement earlier this year when Sun Microsystems' popular MySQL moved all its code trees from Bitkeeper to the Canonical-sponsored system.

Launchpad project manager Christian "kiko" Reis told The Reg the plan is to support an even larger variety of bug trackers and version-control systems, beyond just today's Subversion and CVS. "People have chosen GIT and Mercurial. We should support those - you should be able to exchange packages and update code," Reis said.

Applications and projects on Launchpad don't necessarily have to be running on Ubuntu, but - clearly - reporting bugs in those that do will help improve detection and usability for the Ubuntu combo.

"The place where you have the most connection is the distribution - that's why Ubuntu is the driving force for Launchpad, we feel the pain so acutely," Reis said. "Launchpad is about exploring the commonality between these projects."®

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