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Crunching the numbers: Open Source Community Metrics at OSCON


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Co-presented with Dave Neary at OSCON 2011.

Every community manager knows that community metrics are important, but how do you come up with a plan and figure out what you want to measure? Most community managers have their own set of hacky scripts for extracting data from various sources after they decide what metrics to track. There is no standardised Community Software Dashboard you can use to generate near-real-time stats on your community growth.

Like most open source projects, we have diverse community infrastructure for MeeGo, including Mailman, Drupal, Mediawiki, IRC, git, OpenSuse Build Service, Transifex and vBulletin. We wanted to unify these sources together, extract meaningful statistics from the data we had available to us, and present it to the user in a way that made it easy to see if the community was developing nicely or not.

Building on the work of Pentaho, Talend, MLStats, gitdm and a host of others, we built a generic and open source community dashboard for the MeeGo project, and integrated it into the website. The project was run in the open at and all products of the project are available for reuse.

This presentation will cover the various metrics we wanted to measure, how we extracted the data from a diverse set of services to do it, and more importantly, how you can do it too.

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Crunching the numbers: Open Source Community Metrics at OSCON

  1. Crunching the numbers: Open Source Community Metrics Dave Neary <> Neary Consulting Dawn Foster <> MeeGo Community Manager at IntelPhoto CC, by aussiegal on Flickr 1
  2. Why are metrics important? ● Measure progress in your community over time ● Who contributes ● Where are people contributing ● Spot trends ● Gauge interest ● Learn more about key contributors ● Recognize contributions 2
  3. Example: Components of an Open Source Community 3
  4. Example: June MeeGo Community Metrics Summary• 439,963 unique people visited this month (430,070 last month). – 1,796,288 pageviews (1,857,907 last month); 599,573 total visits (597,658 last month)• 25,801 people are members of (was 24,019 last month) – Dev ML subscribers = 4772; Community = 3736; iL10N = 2607; SDK = 3197• Mailing Lists: 5890 posts this month; 200 people posted 2+ msgs• Forums: 2255 posts. 242 people posted 2+ messages• New Bugs Created: 1938; Bugs Resolved: 2871• Downloads: 52,627 1.2 Netbook, 626 1.2 IVI, 1505 1.1 N900, 3072 Tablet• Active Users: Estimated at 800 – 1000 people. – Mailing Lists: 302 people with unique email addresses posted (308 last month) – Forums: 412 people posted at least one item (262 last month) – Bugzilla: 773 people performed some action (624 last month) – Wiki: 276 edited the wiki (205 last month) – IRC: 410-520 people logged into #meego simultaneously most days 4
  5. What are the Right Metrics for YOUR Project ● Goals ● What are your overall goals for the project? ● How can you measure progress toward those goals? ● What is important to you and your progress? ● Trends ● What should you measure to recognize trends? ● How do you recognize when something is going wrong? ● Do you notice big improvements? Note: I measure way too much 5
  6. Mailing Lists: mlstats Mailing List Stats is a command line tool used to analyze mailing list archives. It downloads the archives, places them in a directory and stores all the information contained in each mailing list post into a database 6
  7. Code contributions: cvsanaly CVSAnaly parses commit logs of various source control systems, and stores the data into a database 7
  8. Code contribution: gitdmGitdm parses git logs and extracts committer and employer information git:// 8
  9. IRC: irssistats & superseriousstats Generates IRC stats for active people, by hour of the day, by day, most used words, quotes and more. 9
  10. Media Wiki 10
  11. Bugs ● New bugs vs. resolved bugs ● Cant just look at monthly trends ● Need to take release cycle into account ● Before release: more resolved bugs ● After release: more new bugs ● Participants ● People who file new bugs ● Participate in bugs (comment, etc.) ● Careful with people who resolve bugs (usually QA) ● Most bug trackers have reporting / queries for metrics Image: 11
  12. Website: Google Analytics Nokia AnnouncementRoadmaps Mobile World Congress 12
  13. Automate ● My less than elegant method ● Giant bash script ● Uses wget, awk, mysql queries, etc. ● Dumps a bunch of csv files on my hard drive ● A better dashboard approach ● Open source metrics dashboard ● 13
  14. Why build a dashboard? ● Provide up to date information ● Automate repetitive menial work ● Provide actionable data for qualitative analysis 14
  15. Mozilla contributor dashboard ● Tracks total contributions, code review, individual contributions ● Easy to spot important information in visualisation ● Code only Credits: David Eaves 15
  16. WikiMedia stats Tracks editor activity, content pages, access by language 16
  17. Eclipse project view ● Company contributions ● Total activity ● Mostly code 17
  18. Ohloh 18
  19. Paul Adams: Visualising contributions 19
  20. Open Source business intelligence ● Pentaho BI suite ● JasperSoft ● BI suites, including ETL, reporting, metadata ● BIRT ● Reporting tool from Actuate ● Associated with Eclipse ● Talend ● Petals ● ETL tools, useful in combination with other tools 20
  21. MeeGo Dashboard & Reports ● Open Source BI suite ● Includes reporting tool, ETL, dashboard framework, scheduling engine, metadata layer, all in Community Edition ● Used by other open source projects (Mozilla) 21
  22. Pentaho Report Designer 22
  23. Mailing list and forum statistics 23
  24. Mailing list and forum activity 24
  25. Wiki activity 25
  26. IRC stats 26
  27. Now What? ● Report Regularly ● Pick a period that makes sense for your project ● Share with the community ● ● Recognize your top contributors ● Use data to take action 27
  28. Dawn FosterMeeGo Community Manager for Intel @geekygirldawn Dave Neary Neary Consulting @nearyd
  29. Credits Thank you to the many people who have contributed to the metrics ● Dave Neary for many helpful tips & for providing a lot of help with mailing list stats (mlstats) ● Reggie Suplido for automating forum stats: ● Carsten Munk for the IRC stats ● Stephen Gadsby for the bug jars: ● Mike Shaver for a variety of help ● Arjan Van De Ven for some Perl magic ● Adam Gretzinger for providing download data 29