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Friday, May 12, 2006

Launchpad and Malone: Pain free bug-tracking

Launchpad is a open source software management system being provided by Canonical (makers of Ubuntu). It has lots of services and features, and we'll just be scratching the surface today. The services it provides are somewhat like sourceforge. Launchpad is comprised of sub-systems, each of which seems a fully capable application.

Malone is the name of the bug tracker included with Launchpad. Malone is just the best bug tracker I have ever used. I am no expert, but I have really grown to detest using Trac and Bugzilla. The main reason being constant switching back and forth from lists to bugs and then back again, and oh yikes, it makes me dizzy. Malone seems to get around this with subtle use of javascript, and obsessive attention to user workflow.

From sniffing around the development crew of Launchpad (as one does!) I found some really well known and scary names. Experts from all departments, including a decent number of GUI expert programmers. The user interface seems really important to them, and it shows in the end product.

Well done everyone involved! At last, I look forward to managing bugs, not just fixing them. And at last my users have a pleasant way of reporting. And as a pleasant bonus, it is all hosted for me.

(links in text for more information)