Wow, we’ve put Launchpad version 1.0 into public beta and it looks great!
Since I joined Canonical, almost all the Launchpad team’s work has been focused on 1.0. The chaps have consistently impressed me with their talent and 1.0 is testament to their vision, high standards and skill.
So, let’s take a look at what’s new.
The most obvious change in Launchpad 1.0 is the new interface.
Launchpad does a lot. It is made up of five principal tools and has different contexts depending on the project, distribution, team or individual you’re working with at that time. The interface has a lot of work to do to make it intuitive to navigate all that information.
Simpler home page
The previous Launchpad home page was great for people already using Launchpad but I think it was a touch overwhelming for people new to the service.
The new Launchpad home page is clean and its simplicity sets the tone for the rest of interface.
Importantly, it’s now easy to get a feel for what Launchpad is and to see what tools it offers:
You can also jump straight to a project by entering its name in the nice big search box.
Many different projects use Launchpad. To make it obvious which project you’re working on, Launchpad displays the project’s logo at the top of each page.
Brandability isn’t just for projects, though. I’ve got my mug on pages associated with me:
Similarly, it’s now easier to identify pages associated with particular Launchpad teams:
A drop-down menu, in the top green navigation bar, lets you drill down further into project, team or individual that you’re currently working with:
Nice obvious buttons help contributors dive straight in:
The Actions menu, in the left-hand column, is always a useful place to find out what you can do in that application, in that context. Beneath, expandable boxes have additional information about the project, team or individual.
Seeing what people have done
Launchpad is all about collaboration. Knowing what projects and types of work interests a person is useful if you want to work with them.
User profile pages now have more information about that person’s activity in Launchpad:
Launchpad’s code hosting solves three problems in one go:
- Finding somewhere to host your code.
- Keeping track of all the branches of your project.
- Getting commit access to projects using Subversion and CVS.
The project cloud gives you a quick way to see which projects host their code with Launchpad. The darker the name, the more active the project and the larger the name, the more code they host.
Try it, let us know what you think
Launchpad 1.0 also has loads of new code under the surface, ready for all the new features we have planned for the coming months.
Soon, we’ll be re-opening the private beta again, as we get to work on making free software collaboration even easier. You’re welcome to join the Launchad Beta Testers team.