Echoes from the Dublin Thunderdome

ThunderdomeI can’t believe it’s been two weeks already! From June 25th to July 1st, the whole Launchpad team was gathered in Dublin for our semi-annual all-hands event. Like usual, we also invited the Bazaar team and  one of our friendly sysadmin­.

The theme this time around was “UI, UI, UI”. Since the January squad reorganisation, it became evident that a big stumbling block for squads working on features was UI work. Our team is still inexperienced with JavaScript and the YUI3 framework. So each squad has encountered similar problems and sometime found different solutions. We wanted to take advantage of the face-time to come to a common understanding of the best patterns to use.

In the end, it was a week of intense hacking on UI infrastructure, with part of the mornings dedicated on presentation where people shared what they learnt in the past 6 months.

Projects that were worked on during the week:

  • An asynchronous notification system (extracted from Landscape) which will allow us to update pages as soon as tasks complete on the backend.
  • We ditched our buggy Windmill-based Javascript integration tests, in favour of a yuitest-based suite. We already use yuitest for JS unit tests, but now we’ll be able to use it  for integration tests where  we need to make XHR requests to a live server. We’ll even be able to set server-side fixtures from within the test!
  • Investigate the use of selenium2 for acceptance testing. These are tests ensuring a complete workflow works and that ideally will be able to run against both the staging server as well as within tree for regression testing.
  • Integrating loggerhead-backed branch data on some Launchpad pages. You should soon be able to get the diff of a particular revision directly on the merge proposal page.
  • Infrastructure to refresh all the client-side representation of objects related to a page in one request.
  • Many UI bugs were fixed.

This was also the week we said farewell to old friend: Jonathan our Product Strategist  and Ursula Junque who is now working as QA analyst for the Ubuntu Server team. In the end, Jono didn’t get pied as we still had a huge number of Critical bugs left open. We did rejoice in achieving our performance improvements target. Given the trend, I estimated that we have still 6 months before emptying the Critical bugs list. The new target is to reduce to a 100 for October. Let’s see if I was more realistic this time around.

And we also took the traditional team picture.

Launchpad Team Photo

Great fun it was, and I can’t wait for the next one in January.

Photo by Miss_Colleen. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

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