In MSWL-Communities course (part of the Master on Libre on Libre Software that I am attending), students were told to analyze Eye of Gnome project in order to find the most important developer, and also to create our own definition of “most important developer”.
We used LibreSoft tools to the small research, but now that I am beginning to enjoy the visual representations of projects evolution with code_swarm, I ran it against the old SVN repo of Eye of Gnome and, as before, tweaked the video to increase the speed, and uploaded it to my blip.tv channel.
You can watch the video here.
In my homework (which you can read at my git repo) I concluded that the work done by Felix Riemann is the most important for the project. However, I stated that Felix Riemann was working from the beginning, but I could not see him in code_swarm visualization until 2006. So I queried in a better way the databased created with LibreSoft tools and I realized that he was beginning to work on the project in 2006.
If you look at the absolute numbers, it seems clear that Riemann was the leader of EOG team. But if you look at the temporal visualization of code_swarm, you can see the different leaders: Federico Mena (2000-2003), Jens Finke (2001-2005) , Lucas Almeida Rocha (2005-2009), Claudio Saavedra (2005-), Felix Riemann (2006-). It is interesting to see that Kjartan Maraas is present and active in the whole history of the project.
So now the question was: what is more important, the quantitative numbers, or other “non cuantitative” aspects as being part of the project since a long time? The “old developers” are the ones transmiting the know-how and experience of the project from one generation to other. And we have to take into account that Riemann is still working on the project with a high rate of commits, while other developers have abandoned EOG and they are caring about other projects now.
I will not change my final answer to the exercise, but this code_swarm visualization helped me a lot to not to extract quickly conclusions form a particular, limited research.
Other interesting thing that I saw in the code_swarm visualization of EOG project is that there is a high level of collaboration between the different developers in the projects. Other project visualizations show circles around the developers, and you can easily determine the different teams by looking at the files that they update. However, in EOG visualization, many developers are very close, and you can find big lights (like stars) better than circles around the developers. This means (if I am not wrong) that those people are working on the same files, no each one on a different set of files, so we can assume that there is a stretch collaboration among developers in this project.