Mere Code

Diverse Topics of General Interest to the Practicing Programmer

What to do, what to do

One of the many things I love about going to UDS is the opportunity to talk to so many different people about  a relatively small set of things. Having the same conversation over again from various angles helps jostle a few lazy thoughts into rank, allowing the now ordered thoughts to execute a disciplined march on the bastion of uncertainty. That is, explaining what I’m thinking makes my thinking clearer. Rather selfishly, I’d like to start explaining here what I’ve been thinking recently.

The most important things for Launchpad development right now are performance, derivative distributions, privacy and desktop integration. Everything else we want to do is less important than any of these. I used to include software center support, but we’ve done that already, all the others are in progress.

A faster and more snappy Launchpad will make the lives of all of our existing users happy, whether they are dentists hacking in their spare time or field engineers in Taipei. Improving performance makes the user experience better by having less of it.

Ubuntu is being shipped by default on more and more devices. Each version of Ubuntu on those devices can quite legitimately be thought of as a derivative distribution. We want to give our hardware enablement teams the same top-notch tools that our platform teams get to use. Also in the highly competitive world of device manufacturing, many things need to be kept secret, so Launchpad needs to get its privacy act together.

Finally, I’m convinced that developing apps and fixing bugs in Ubuntu needs to be as easy and smooth as possible. I’m also convinced, alongside the Ubuntu One folk, that we can do some pretty neat things when we integrate the desktop and the web. Thus I’ve been pushing for a long time to improve Launchpad’s desktop integration. Unlike the others it’s not an immediate need, but I think the work we do now will pay off very quickly.

All of these four things are in progress right now. I’d love to write more about some of the other things we have in progress and about my own dim picture of the future, but this is enough for one post.