“I contributed!” is a special series on the Fedora Community Blog which helps Fedora contributors understand and get a feel of the activity happening in different areas in Fedora, especially areas other than what they personally participate in. These visualizations for 2015 are made using Gource videos generated by threebean using the fedmsg2gource repo.
In this first part of the series, we demonstrate the aggregate Gource visualization for all of Fedora in 2015.
Gource – Is it a food? Is it a cheese? It’s a visualization!
Gource is a visualization for the development history of software projects. Gource uses Version Control System (VCS) history to generate interactive animations such as videos.
fedmsg2gource is a CLI tool used to produce a fake git log from the fedmsg history. It outputs strings suitable for consumption by the “gource” tool. This then lets you make beautiful visualizations of areas in the Fedora Project beyond just code contributions.
Understanding the Gource Videos
Each video shows continuous temporal evolution of a nodal network, i.e. a graph. Each little circle, or node, in the graph, represents some kind of Fedora Infrastructure asset. For instance, a single wiki page listed like fedoraproject.org/wiki/Infrastructure/Debt would be represented by three linked nodes: wiki -> Infrastructure -> Debt. When a contributor modifies that wiki page, a little face with the contributors’ avatar will appear in the video, fly by, and shoot that node with a laser (!).
When viewed in full, the videos give you an impression of the breadth of community activity. If one person runs a script to modify a large number of packages at once, you’ll see that one little avatar flying around shooting lasers at lots of nodes. If a large number of contributors suddenly become active to accomplish some coordinated task, you’ll see a swarm of avatars flying around doing, well, whatever it was that they were doing.
Aggregate Video for 2015
We produced two different kinds of Gource videos. We produced separate videos each showing only one of several different subsystems as well as one aggregate video for 2015. This article covers the aggregate video which shows all activity for 2015 , except for the Koji build system, which we left out because it was so large that it dwarfed all the other activity. Check out the fedmsg history for the past year here and static visualization here . October to November period shows a high amount of activity with two new services launched in this period – mdapi and mailman.
Generate your own Gource video with just two commands by learning about how to make Gource videos here. If you are interested in Gource visualizations of fedmsg, check out threebean’s script used to generate these awesome videos using fedmsg2gource.
Image credit: gource.io