Launchpad status info survey results


This is a pretty long post. Here’s the important bit, if you don’t want to read the rest.

”’For all Launchpad status updates/notices:”’ use our launchpadstatus account (RSS feed, Twitter mirror).

”’For notice of major interruptions only:”’ subscribe to the launchpad-announce mailing list or the Launchpad blog’s notification category.

You can also use the Launchpad release schedule Google calendar (ical).

Improving how we announce service disruption

Over the past few months we in the Launchpad community have been moving toward releasing features with no downtime.

We can already push out new features when they’re ready, rather than as part of a monthly code push. However, we still have some service interruption: what was our monthly code release is now a roll-out of changes to the database’s structure. And, of course, there are times when we need to disrupt to Launchpad’s service in order to maintain hardware and so on.

The way that we announce such planned service interruptions has been a topic of discussion lately in the Launchpad community. I wanted to get a feel for what people beyond the Launchpad development community would prefer and so last week I
posted a survey asking how people would rather we make such announcements.

Before I look at what people said, I’ll note that 126 people completed the survey and that the results are really nothing more than a discussion point; the respondents were self-selecting and there’s no way to know if that 126 people were representative.

What people do now

The people who responded to the survey told us that, right now, they get Launchpad service status information in these ways:

Method Percentage
The Launchpad blog 38.5%
Identica or Twitter 35.3%
launchpad-users mailing list 15.6%
IRC 8.2%
Facebook 2.5%

How people access Launchpad status information now

Some of you reading may wonder why email isn’t mentioned. For some time we’ve had a launchpad-announce list specifically for announcing Launchpad service interruptions. However, until now that list hasn’t been well publicised.

What people said they want

In the survey, I asked what method people would prefer to use to get information about Launchpad service interruptions. Rather than limit what people could suggest, I gave an open text box.

The responses divide fairly neatly into six categories.

Method Percentage
Identica or Twitter 34%
RSS/blog 23.1%
Email 14.3%
Status page or message in Launchpad itself 11%
iCal 2.2%
SMS 2.2%
Other 13.2%

So, what should we do in light of this?

How we’re going to announce service interruptions in future

We have, broadly, two types of service interruption:

  • localised disruptions that most people won’t notice: e.g. code browse offline for less than five minutes
  • widespread disruptions that could inconvenience thousands of people: e.g. Launchpad read-only for 90 minutes.

Here’s how we’ll announce them from now on:.

Localised disruptions:

  • notice at least 24 hours in advance
  • #launchpad irc topic message at least 24 hours in advance

Widespread disruptions:

  • One week before:

  • 24 hours before:

    • Reminder post to
    • Message in #launchpad topic
  • Five to ten minutes before:

    • Message at the top of Launchpad pages
    • Reminder post to

We’ll also look at ways of improving the notification system in Launchpad itself, although any changes are still some way off.

Of course, we’re open to suggestions for how to better announce such disruptions. Please do leave your comments here.

4 Responses to “Launchpad status info survey results”

  1. Wouter Says:

    Message at the top of Launchpad pages: please make that half an hour before, as people might not refresh the page they are looking at within 5 or 10 minutes.

  2. Marius Gedminas Says:

    Ideally, there are no disruptions and therefore announcements aren’t necessary.

    Other than that, during a disruption I want to know one thing and one thing only: when will the service be back. I never found advance notifications useful — perhaps because I’m a very unorganized person with no planning skills whatsoever.

  3. vila Says:

    Pretty good summary in the answers above: 30 minutes notice on the page and the date it will be back.

    I discovered the date on the page yesterday (and it said 15 minutes by the way) and I was: “Wow, that’s exactly where I can notice it in the most obvious way !”.

  4. dnua Says:

    Yes, Twitter is becoming more popular. And many know all the news there.

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