[openstack-dev] [Stackalytics] 0.1 release [metrics]

Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona jgb at bitergia.com
Fri Aug 2 08:44:12 UTC 2013

On Fri, 2013-07-26 at 07:40 -0700, Thierry Carrez wrote:
> Stefano Maffulli wrote:
> > On 07/23/2013 07:25 AM, Roman Prykhodchenko wrote:
> >> I still think counting lines of code is evil because it might encourage
> >> some developers to write longer code just for statistics.
> > 
> > Data becomes evil when you decide to use them for evil purposes :) I
> > don't think that lines of code is a bad metric per se: like any other
> > metric it becomes bad when used in an evile context. I'm getting more
> > and more convinced that it's a mistake to show ranks and classifications
> > in the dashboard and I'll be deleting all the ones that we may have on
> > http://activity.openstack.org. (see
> > https://bugs.launchpad.net/openstack-community/+bug/1205139)
> > 
> > Counting anything in OpenStack, from commits to number of reviews is not
> > a race, we don't need to *rank* top contributors.
> While I think those stats are useless to identify "top" contributors
> (since the precise metric used will influence who ends up in the top
> spots), I think they are useful to identify who does not contribute at
> all. In that case 0 commits = 0 lines of code = 0 reviews and the metric
> used does not matter that much.
> You could say we should not be in the business of shaming people, but
> remember that since we use a permissive license, societal pressures
> (rather than institutional pressures like the license) are the only way
> to force companies to contribute back. The Apache license lets you not
> contribute back, but that doesn't mean companies who claim to be an
> OpenStack open source team player can get away with not contributing
> anything at all...

I would say that the important issue is to have the detailed data. If
for some person (or company) it is important to count lines of code, or
commits, or closed tickets, or whatever, you can go for it and that's
all. Data is just data: you can mine it for the answers to your own

This said, I also agree with Thierry in that "highlighting" important
aspects for the project can only help. That can be used to put some
"social pressure" on users of the software, as he suggests. That may
also be used to highlight who is contributing the most (as Stefano said,
it may be useful to know which companies are engaging more with the
project, and in some cases that's clear by almost any metric. Or to
track the time-to-review per project. Or to show open tickets over time.

My impression is that we still need some time to learn which metrics are
interesting enough to visualize them. And contribution metrics are a
part of them.



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