Sunday, 23 January 2011

Code Blue at the Thunderdome

I am sitting in the hotel at the end of the Launchpad Thunderdome. Really this was just a sprint for all of the Launchpad developers, but someone decided it needed a neat name, and Thunderdome stuck.

It is at this sprint that the Launchpad team is transitioning away from the old application based teams to "squads". There are five squads, each given a colour for now: Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow, and Red. So my "Code" team has been split up and I have a new squad "Blue". Before we even switched to the squads, on of my new members resigned to move to something new, so I have an opening. Actually right now we have two openings. One squad is primarily based in Australasia (with one in New York) and the other has people from North America and Europe.

The majority of our time has been spent getting to know our new squads. Three of the squads are working on features, and two are on maintenance. The Blue squad (called "Code Blue" from now) is finishing of the recipe feature. This allows packages to be built automatically directly from a source package assembled from one or more branches on Launchpad. This feature was started over a year ago and needs to be finished off. Most of what we are doing now is just polishing the user experience and interface. The feature has been available since around the middle of the year, and we have almost 250 recipes that are configured to build packages automatically. Once we finish this off Code Blue will move on to maintenance until some other feature teams finish up.

We have done some pretty impressive work on the webservice this week. Primarily due to trying to make nice AJAX popups for changing the owner and PPA of a recipe. This resulted in much yak shaving, and refactoring. The work we did make it trivially easy to add an AJAX popup to any place on Launchpad where a single value is chosen from a list of options. We also fixed a number of bugs in lazr.restful and very soon there will be a release that will add a 'web_link' property to the entries in launchpadlib that will refer to the actual object on Launchpad.

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