Find the answer to your Linux question:
Results 1 to 7 of 7
Hello, I'm currently working on a research project that will investigate corporate involvement in open source software projects. However, I'm having trouble tracking down data on commits to projects. I ...
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1
    Just Joined! bbirkinbine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    0

    Data on Commits to Linux & Other Open Source Projects?


    Hello, I'm currently working on a research project that will investigate corporate involvement in open source software projects. However, I'm having trouble tracking down data on commits to projects.

    I know the Linux Foundation releases an annual report on kernel development, which contains really good info. But, I'm looking to find similar data for other projects as well. Does anyone know of a good database, or how I might go about finding this information?

    The only thing I've been able to find has been Ohloh.net, but the data there seems to have fallen off since about 2010.

    Ideally, I'd like to filter the data two ways: by contributor (i.e., which projects Microsoft contributes to) and by project (i.e., all contributors to the Linux kernel).

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    -B

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Posts
    11,737
    If you can determine exactly which projects you want to track, then you might be able to access their repositories to extract commit data (some will use GIT, some will use other version control systems), and then massage it as necessary. User caveat - some programming will probably be required...
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  3. #3
    Just Joined! bbirkinbine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    0
    Thanks for the reply, Rubberman. Sounds like I may need to contact some folks with more programming experience than myself.

    Just to clarify, it also sounds like I may not be able to track commits by contributor (i.e., Microsoft) unless I begin with a larger sample of specific projects. Is this correct?

  4. $spacer_open
    $spacer_close
  5. #4
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Posts
    11,737
    A lot of people who are open source project committers (active developers) may not indicate their business affiliation, yet others might. I would suggest you start by contacting some of the bigger project leads, such as apache, php, linux kernel (kernel.org), the Linux Foundation (employers of Linus Torvalds), and the GNU project to find out how you might query their sites for this information.

    It sounds like a fun project, so I wish you the best of luck!
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  6. #5
    Just Joined! bbirkinbine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    0
    Ah yes, the classic conundrum: how to distinguish working time from leisure time

    I think I will try to limit it to those who are contributing to a project in some sort of "official" capacity (i.e., those who indicate an affiliation). At least, I think I will need to make this argument as a methodological point.

    Thanks again!
    B

  7. #6
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Posts
    11,737
    Quote Originally Posted by bbirkinbine View Post
    Ah yes, the classic conundrum: how to distinguish working time from leisure time

    I think I will try to limit it to those who are contributing to a project in some sort of "official" capacity (i.e., those who indicate an affiliation). At least, I think I will need to make this argument as a methodological point.

    Thanks again!
    B
    Well, a lot of these corporation-affiliated contributors are actually paid to do their open source work! IBM contributes about $1 billion annually for this (in payroll mostly). Red Hat? Probably a similar amount (or more on a proportionate basis). Also, our tax dollars contribute as well - witness Scientific Linux, Fermi Linux, et al. Open source software is very much NOT just a bunch of interested individuals, but a lot of corporations and government research labs that realize that payback for the tools they use is appropriate. I have no idea how much my company (Nokia) contributes on a year-by-year basis to open source projects, but is is a serious chunk of change, considering that a significant (if minor) part of my salary-paid time is used for such!
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  8. #7
    Just Joined! bbirkinbine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberman View Post
    Well, a lot of these corporation-affiliated contributors are actually paid to do their open source work! IBM contributes about $1 billion annually for this (in payroll mostly). Red Hat? Probably a similar amount (or more on a proportionate basis). Also, our tax dollars contribute as well - witness Scientific Linux, Fermi Linux, et al. Open source software is very much NOT just a bunch of interested individuals, but a lot of corporations and government research labs that realize that payback for the tools they use is appropriate. I have no idea how much my company (Nokia) contributes on a year-by-year basis to open source projects, but is is a serious chunk of change, considering that a significant (if minor) part of my salary-paid time is used for such!
    Exactly! This is exactly the type of data I'm looking for in the project. I'm looking for folks like yourself who are paid to contribute to free and open source software projects (FOSPs). The goal will be to determine how much of this paid work is going into the commits. This seems to be a pretty consistent methodological snag. While I don't claim to be able to solve the issue totally, I'm hoping to give it a go.

    Again, I've seen some breakdowns of the data out there for the kernel, but I'm trying (to the best of my ability) to determine if we can gather similar data for other projects. I'm just not exactly sure how to do this. But, I think the data would be tremendously enlightening, and might just tell us a little something about the nature of "programming labor" (or working in the software industry) and, perhaps, a little something about the corporations who are contributing.

    One of the anecdotes I use to frame the research is the transition of Microsoft's position on this very issue. For example, Ballmer once referred to Linux as "a cancer" (in an intellectual property sense), but now Microsoft has an entire division called Microsoft Openness. And, they appear as one of the top 20 contributors to the kernel. I think charting this transition is a good way to introduce people to the issue, or at least get them to see why corporations would want to contribute. The real meat of the argument will come from the type and amount of data I can get to illustrate this. Of course, it will be difficult to get the budget-line items for individual corporations. So, I'm trying to get data on commits as one way to illustrate it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •