Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth’s commercial company behind Ubuntu, has released a piece of Launchpad as open source.

Canonical Ltd today announced the release of Storm, a generic open source object relational mapper (ORM) for Python. Storm is designed to support communication with multiple databases simultaneously.

Launchpad is the web-based collaboration platform that Ubuntu and many other open source projects use. A common complaint about Launchpad is that it is closed source. Many believe that Ubuntu should not be developed with closed source tools.

Besides that, as Ubuntu is ‘free and always will be’, we expect as soon as possible that Launchpad, an essential tool for Ubuntu developing, should be free too.

Most of the FUD raised about Ubuntu and Canonical (like Mandriva did for instance) are based on the fact of non-free Launchpad, so it should be fixed as soon as possible.

Mark Shuttleworth’s response in the past was that an open source Launchpad would mean there would be many different Launchpad sites and versions. This would defeat the purpose of Launchpad, easy information flow between projects.

the problem is a lack of information flow between projects. the right solution, from an engineering perspective, is a federated, distributed, standards-based approach. where data from bugzilla flows to LP, and into debbugs, and into roundup, and into sourceforge. then everyone uses their preferred tools, and the data just migrates as needed. but, we couldn’t wait for that to happen, so we wrote a tool for ubuntu that new how to link to other tools. now, if there were MULTIPLE tools like that, it would divide the eyeballs interested in agregating this information.

I think it is very likely that this is related to the announcement of Gobuntu. After all, a completely free distribution should be developed with free tools. This one Launchpad component could be the beginning of the release of Launchpad as open source software.


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