Essential Source Package information
Collect and provide the source package information needed to register an upstream project
As an Ubuntu contributor
I want Launchpad to show me source package descriptions, home page, and licenses
so that I can register and link an upstream project
To register an upstream project for a source package, users prefer to use other web sites or apt because launchpad does not provide enough information to complete the task.
This is the 4th ranked package that needs linking to a project:
What is it? We know this had to have its licenses checked to be packaged in Ubuntu. What are it's licenses?
Why are we doing this now?
1. The first few pages of <distroseries>/+needs-packaging listing stopped changing after a few weeks. Users had linked the packages to projects already registered in Launchpad. The ones that remain require new registrations.
2. Adding a link to register an upstream project to the source package pages does not help because users cannot complete the registration form without researching the package description and licenses.
3. The user probably needs the upstream home page or the location of where the package was downloaded from to gather bug tracker and repository info to configure bugs and code in Launchpad. Our recent changes to make these tasks prominent would be more successful if we helped users locate the information.
4. The fastest way to locate this information is to not use Launchpad. Though Launchpad has all the source packages, http://packages.ubuntu.com/ has the information. Users can search for a package name, choose the version for the distro, read the description, choose the link the copyright file read the 1-* licenses described in the file.
What value does this give our users? Which users?
Providing the needed information lowers the barrier to linking Ubuntu to its upstream projects. Users with packaging experience have the best chance of success now, because they know that the debian control and copyright information already contain the required information. Other users must spend a lot of time searching launchpad or searching other sites for this information
This helps the Ubuntu community in general. Looking at who is linking projects to packages now:
- Ubuntu community reps like Robert Ancell and Jorge Castro who are registering projects that related to the focus of development.
- Ubuntu contributors who fix historical information like Curtis Hovey.
- Launchpad users who fix bugs in Ubuntu packages like Jelmer Vernooij.
- Packagers who want to setup the release_finder_url pattern to get releases.
- Users who want to report an upstream bug.
We cannot consider an expedited form that registers an upstream project from a source package until we have the information that the form requires.
Who really cares about this feature? When did you last talk to them?
- Jorge Castro, a few weeks ago when we both were helping a user who wanted to reconcile the many glade packages to glade projects.
- Jelmer Vernooij, a few weeks ago asking why he registers so many projects.
- Curtis Hovey. I count myself because my experience I am now a leading linker.
What MUST the new behaviour provide? The copyright an decription information must be available to launchpad objects so that users can see the information at crucial times, such as registering an upstream project.
Make the debian/copyright information available to the model objects (It is in the SourcePackageRelease table, but not any interfaces).
- Make the source package description available to the model objects (packages.ubuntu.com creates the description from the first lines of each binary package provides by the source package.)
What COULD the new behaviour provide? Make Launchpad pages contain the same information that packages.ubuntu.com. http://packages.ubuntu.com/source/lucid/wsjt has similar information to Launchpad, it even links to Launchpad. If Launchpad shows descriptions and copyright information, users would not need to switch to packages.ubuntu.com.
The DistributionSourcePackage and Source package pages could show the description on their index pages
The DistributionSourcePackage and Source package pages could have a page that shows the copyright file.
What MUST it not do?
- Collect the information, but provide no way to retrieve it for display in pages, or to pre-populate forms. Launchpad did collect this information,
it is just not accessible. eg, SourcePackageRelease.copyright
How will we know when we are done?
- Verify you can see the description on the page and know what it provides.
- Verify there is a link to see the copyright information.
- Verify the common licenses and home page are highlighted in the copy right information.
How will we measure how well we have done?
The top 100 of <distroseries>/+needs-packaging listing will change often.
- There will be an improved trend in packages linked to projects.
I want this feature because it will help *me* link packages to project. I think this is a feature us really a requirement for allowing users to do drive-by project registration from bugs and package pages.