April 30th, 2010, 16:06 UTC

Launchpad Ubuntu

Reply to “Downstream bug reports – fail!”

Johannes Schmid wrote a short piece about Ubuntu and bug reports on Launchpad and I wrote a reply. Unfortunately a server error on blogs.gnome.org prevents me from commenting directly on his post, so I’ll do it here:

This is something we’re working on; it’s in the interests of Ubuntu to get bugs reported upstream.

Launchpad already has a decent level of integration with the GNOME bug tracker. Launchpad can actually integrate with Bugzilla and Trac after some initial setup, syncing comments bidirectionally and linking the upstream bug to the bug in Launchpad. Launchpad can also help people file the bug upstream by jumping to a pre-filled form on the upstream bug tracker. We want to add to all this - for example, to be able to file the bug automatically upstream - but recently we’ve been concentrating on stabilising the existing features.

Many people work hard to get bugs forwarded to upstream bug trackers. There is an upstream bug report on Launchpad which is used to keep track of how well we’re doing at getting bugs forwarded upstream.

To help getting bugs upstream, projects on Launchpad can set their bug tracker: look for “Configure bug tracker” on the project home page. It’s not yet easy to add a new external bug tracker, so this part can be a bit fiddly. It is being worked on, and we’re happy to help: drop into #launchpad on freenode, or ask on Launchpad.

Projects can also declare how they’re packaged in Ubuntu on their project page: see the bottom left of the page for “Packages in Ubuntu”. This makes it even easier to send package bugs upstream to the correct place.

As you can see, Launchpad does a lot to help get bugs upstream. It’s not always as obvious or as easy as you might hope for, but it is being worked on, and has already improved a lot.