bac's blog

Thoughts on photography, programming, Python, Puerto Rico, Weimaraners, and, to a lesser extent, Land Rovers.

Showing progress

Setting up new projects in Launchpad has been a difficult thing to get right.  For a fully configured project there are simply lots of things Launchpad needs to know about.  So, originally, before the user could complete the registration process he or she was subject to an interrogation to get every last bit of knowledge about the project.

As you may imagine this procedure was a little to heavy weight for someone who just wanted to quickly set up a project.  So we changed the project registration process to be more minimalist — only asking for the data that was absolutely required, and leaving it to the project maintainer to flesh out when time permitted.

The problem with the new approach is maintainers didn’t really know they still had work to do, such as choosing whether to track Bugs in Launchpad or elsewhere, choosing to enable Translations, turning on the Answers feature.

Recently I made the changes to introduce a progress bar that is shown to maintainers so they will know they still have some tasks to complete.  (The progress bar is only available to Launchpad beta testers at the moment.)

The problem people very quickly discovered is that the progress indicator is a bit of a liar.  You currently can only choose whether to use one of Launchpad’s features or not.  But there is no way to indicate, for example, that you don’t want to use Translations, that you’ve given it hard thought, but no, it isn’t required or desired.  But, still, your progress will always indicate there is more work to do and that  will always be there taunting you.

The problem is with the edit page shown — you get a checkbox if you want to enable a feature but no way to indicate anything else.

So today I will begin work to update that page, giving more choices: Launchpad, External, and Not Applicable.  And once that is done project maintainers can feel good about their fully-configured projects and see a completed progress bar.  Oh, and then I can roll the new feature to production so everyone can use it.

  1. crittenden posted this