Studying the effort and productivity in FLOSS projects

libre software, mswl, mswl-cases, mswl-comm, mswl-eval, mswl-intro

Hi all!!!

These days I have been doing my exercises relating studies of FLOSS communities.
The last exercise was one related the study of effort (based on the number of developers) and productivity (based on number of commits).

This exercise have served me to learn much more about how is the independent the number of developers of a FLOSS project and the number of commits performed by them (productivity).

For example I studied two projects Subversion and TortoiseCVS.


This is a very famous and known project, is one of the most important SCM in the world.
This project has around 11 years of life, and in this project have worked several developers
along the years, and of course this project has had different years with more productivity than others, and years with more developers than others.

The onion skin theory (explained in a previous post) about the core teams in FLOSS projects is true reality for this project where we can see months with the highest number of developers but this doesn’t imply that these months were the most productivity ones.
So we can see, is continue seeing the evolution of the project that a core team is also the most important team between all developers.
For example doesn’t mind that a project has 100 developers, surely the core team, the developers who performed the most number of commits are near always the same, a few developers.

Of course that if you have  big amount of developers you can more facilities that your project has more productivity, but this is not a really true, because all free software teams always take advance the core team.


This project is also a well known project, is an application to manage CVS scms with a graphical interface.

This project is an important project, is well known and active, but is a small project if we talk about the community of developers around this.
The most number of developers in a year in this project is five, and since years ago to now, the project is maintained by an unique developer.

You can think about that the years with the most number of developers were also the years with the most productivity based in this small number of developers, but, not, of course is different than the previous project, but as the previous, the onion skin theory about
the core team also is true in this project, the most important years based in the number of developers don’t implies that are the most important years regarding productivity, in fact, the last years with an only developer, there are months with more productivity that
when they are a few more, of course all depends also of the mature of the project, is not the same at the beginning that at last when the project is very stable and only are necessaries bug fixes, etc. but in conclusion the existence of core teams in small projects also is a reality.

In conclusion regarding this two studies we can say that the existence of core teams is a reality doesn’t care the size of the projects, the number of developers, the age of the project, etc. the core team always will perform the most of the commits in a FLOSS project.

I think that this is like in the reality, as I say in the previous post regarding onion skin, FLOSS projects are based in people, people who can work paid by a company or people who work as altruistic way, and this is very important because all people have different lives, different necessities, etc. and this make the difference between privative-company projects and FLOSS projects where the community around them is the most important thing.

See you my friends!!!


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