I’m in Sao Carlos, Brazil for a few weeks hacking on The Launchpad, and enjoying some of the local scenery. It struck me on yesterday’s early morning run (Kiko’s suggestion – I don’t generally like running) how lucky I am to be able to take a few weeks and work with this team, despite the intensity of everything else that’s going on at Canonical.
Normally I guess the Founder or CEO of a project would not have the luxury of diving into the heart of the technical challenges we face, and you could argue I should be focused on some of the more corporate activities a startup needs to deal with. But with the mix of non-profit and for-profit goals in Canonical and Ubuntu, I sort of feel it’s my great privilege to be able to participate in the hacking, too. There’s plenty of time to build value that will grow the project beyond what I can provide philanthropically – for the moment it’s all about creating interesting platforms for collaboration in the open source world. And that’s the part that I’m particularly interested in myself.
This week the focus has been Baz (the revision control system) as well as a web view of the distributed revision control world (all the branches people have publicly released) which we call “The Bazaar“. At the moment it’s pretty vestigial – it just shows some stats about the number of baz branches we know about that are related to upstream projects we care about. But in future it will let you see more details of each of those branches. The idea being that you can get a high-level view of all the hacking that is going on AROUND a project upstream, not just on the mainline branch. In a distributed revision control world, like the one the Linux kernel guys adopted initially with BK and now with Git, you might have lots of really interesting work going on outside of the mainline tree, so this web service will give you a view of all of that work. That should help create better collaboration between people interested in a particular feature.