Libre Software People's Front

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Posts Tagged ‘mswl-dm

Moodle and Martin Dougiamas, some interesting numbers

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I remember the first time I had to deal with a development based on Moodle. It was more than 6 years ago but I still remember that everything was prepared to attract people and boost the creation of a stronger community. Today I had a look at the number of Moodle and the activity of its leader, Martin Dougiamas, and I have to say I am quite happy Moodle is being such a big success.

First let’s have a look at the big picture:

  • Moodle has a large and diverse user community with over 1,128,626 registered users on the site alone, speaking over 78 languages in 217 countries.
  • As of October 2010 it had a user base of 49,952 registered and verified sites, serving 37 million users in 3.7 million courses. Currently (December 2011) it has a user base of 72,168 registered and verified sites, serving 57 million users in 5.8 million courses. Wow! “serving 57 million users”! Well done Moodle team :).
  • There are around 50 companies that compose the “Moodle partners” network. It offers services around Moodle and help with the development. The services that they offer are: hosting, support, consulting, integration, developing of the courses, customisation and certification.

But, what about its creator and leader?. I wanted to find out the role played by Dougiamas during the last years, so I analysed the git repository with cvsanaly (the development team maintains a git mirror of the cvs they use for the development). This was what I found out:

Martin Dougiamas (blue bar) is by far the person who has committed more changes to the Moodle’s source code repository. The project started in 1999 but the oldest record we have in git is from 2001.
The chart on the left shows the top ten committers by 2003. Martin Dougiamas used two different accounts (blue bars) and the rest of the developers made only a few contributions. We could say that in 2003 the community was starting to grow up and Dougiamas was still the only person that worked full time on it.
The role of Dougiamas in the last two years is very different from the one he played during the first years. Currently the community has a big number of developers (238 total code committers), and there are 19 that are more active than Dougiamas in term of commits. It seems that he is dealing with other tasks but still wants to be involved in the development.

I believe that Moodle is a very interesting case to be deeply studied. If you are part of the moodle community and find any errors, please let me know.


Written by sanacl

December 28, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Who will be the libre software developers by 2020?

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As part of my master’s homework, I’ve just read an article written by some remarkable colleagues a few of years ago about the geographic origin of libre software developers. The article was interesting and had some impact. The key question that they tried to answer was how diverse the national origin of developers is, and the approach was also new as they didn’t want to use surveys but real data. They information that they used in the study was the following:

  • A dump of the SourceForge database created in 2005, which included more than 1,180,000 registered users.
  • Mailing lists archives of the Debian, GNOME and FreeBSD projects. A total of more than one million different e-mail addresses.

The article was focused both on users/contributors (contributors of the forge, mailing lists, source code repositories) and developers (contributors of the source code repos). Obviously, the second group is a subset of the first one. These were some of the results:

  • out of 1.1 million registered participants on SourceForge, just under 50,000 committed code to the development repositories. Well this is not a result of the study, but I found it quite interesting
  • most of the total users came from Europe and North America, followed by Asia with less than 10% of the developer population. If we take into account that the population is larger in Europe, the penetration of the libre software development per capita was higher in North America than in Europe.
  • there were more developers in the US and Canada than in most European countries or regions. On the other hand, the US had fewer libre software developers per million Internet users than most European countries.
  • when the total number of developers is adjusted using wealth (GSD), China, India, Russia, Brazil and even South Africa are among the higher contributors.

I wonder if the situation will be same by 2020.


“Geographic origin of libre software developers”
by Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona, Gregorio Robles, Roberto Andradas-Izquierdo and Rishab Aiyer Ghosh

Written by sanacl

December 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm