Libre Software People's Front

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Posts Tagged ‘mswl

What do you need to be the developer #1 in ohloh.net?

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Something is wrong with the way ohloh.net sort the developers by meritocracy. Well, ohloh.net uses Kudos to measure it, the definition that they offer for kudo is:

kudo: a statement of praise or approval; accolade; compliment.

Basically, kudos are a public way to show your appreciation or respect for an open source contributor. Remember that meritocracy is a very important part of the motivation to work in libre software projects. According to the explanation by the ohloh staff, contributors who have received the most Kudos will receive the highest KudoRank of 10 and only the 64 top people can receive the highest KudoRank.

Once the concept is clear, let’s have a look at the top ten contributors according to ohloh (based on the Kudos they’ve received). The top 3 committers according to the Kudo Rank are Jari Aalto, zeljic and Stefan Küng (see image below).

Now, let’s compare the first three contributors. If we add up the values of the two first committers (Jari Aalto and zeljic) we have 21 commits, 2 years of experience and 6 kudos received. On the other hand Stefan Küng, who is the third contributor, has received around 100 kudos (you’ll have to count them manually), has coding experience of 8 years and 9 months and is part of 15 software projects. The obvious questions is, what is wrong here?. The first two committers have not claimed the ohloh account for this contributions, could it be the root of the bug?

I think this is a bug, I’ll let the Ohloh staff know. Stay tunned.

Written by sanacl

January 4, 2012 at 12:21 am

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 moodle.org 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

Use the imperative, Luke

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When you commit changes on a repository that fix a bug, what do you put in the message log?:

  • Fixed bug (adjetive)
  • Fixes bug (3rd person, the commit fixes the bug)
  • Fix bug (imperative)

For me it is logic to use the 2nd approach which details what the commit modifies but according to the de facto standard the most recommended form is the 3rd one. The Git documentation to submit patches suggest that the body should provide a meaningful commit message, which uses the imperative, present tense: “change”, not “changed” or “changes”. Tim Pope explains this in his blog saying that this convention matches up with commit messages generated by commands like git merge and git revert.

Next time you do a commit, remember to be imperative as if you were the Master of Puppets Commits 😛

Written by sanacl

March 1, 2011 at 12:11 am

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Android went up like a rocket during 2010

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Have you seen the latest market share of Operating Systems for smartphones?

Wow! It’s amazing how quickly Android is increasing its market. During 2010 a total of 170,000 applications were published and it started with less than 10,000. It will be very interesting to know the share market by mid this year, we’ll see if Android is still going up like a rocket.

More info in the Nielsen’s blog and in the Android Zoom blog

Written by sanacl

February 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm

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The KDE Community Working Group

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A few weeks ago Adriaan De Groot (Vice President of the KDE Foundation Board) explained us in the master on libre software the different issues that are important to be taken into account in order to maintain a big community such as KDE, where there are people working together from different countries, with different timezones, culture, languages, … Looking after the KDE community is maybe the main goal of the KDE e.V. non-profit organization which was created with the aim of offering representation, support and governance to the KDE community.

Inside the KDE e.V. there are three working groups: Community, Marketing and System Administration and I was curious about the first one. KDE people are not different from the rest of human beings and sometimes they end up with problems that need a special action, these kind of issues are handled by the Community Working Group which is only three years old and it’s composed of 5 people.

This is part of the formal definition:

“The Community Working Group aims to act as a central point of contact by being available to communicate user needs and concerns to developers, and developer intentions and plans to users.
The group also acts as mediator upon request in the rare cases where the communication breaks down. If these are issues regarding expectations, the work will be closely coordinated with the Marketing Working Group.”

The CWG bases on the KDE Code of Conduct an important part of its job, this document details the social norms and expectations for the community members. The CWG members act as mediators when someone feels that the Code of Conduct has being violated, then they try to resolve the problem amicably. Sometimes this is not possible, in those extreme cases the CWG will suggest to the e.V. Board the most helpful action for the KDE community. The CWG does not, itself, take any action.

References:

Written by sanacl

February 15, 2011 at 10:04 am

cp Redmine Chiliproject; chmod g+w Chiliproject

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A couple of days ago some people from the Redmine community announced the creation of a fork, its name is Chiliproject. For those of you that don’t know Redmine, it is a libre software project management very popular during the last two years.

Redmine is an active project, the creation of a fork could take away contributors from it and the forked project will have a strong and popular competitor, the reasons to create a fork in those cases must be very strong. The Chiliproject leaders explain it in a post, they basically complain about the community management which from their point of view have to be more open.

… Integration of community-created patches were too sporadic, lacked a clear methodology, and was interfering with the effectiveness of the Redmine project for its users. Over the past two years, several members of Redmine’s community worked to resolve management bottlenecks through clear suggestions and contributions. They also attempted to broaden and open up the development process to more contributors. But efforts via public and private forums to discuss the goals and future direction with the project manager of Redmine failed, as the current project manager did not share these priorities

These are the reasons why some people from the Redmine community decided to create a new project, they want to put in practice a more transparent and open governance model following the “ideals of Free and Open Source Software ethics, governance and development practices”. During the following months we will witness a very hard competition where two similar projects will use two different approaches to manage its community. Will Chiliproject be able to attract more code contributors than Redmine? Won’t Redmine lose a bigger part of the community in favour of Chiliproject? These questions will have an answer by the end of the year.

References:

Written by sanacl

February 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm