Open-sourcing OpenStack stats with Stackalytics

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Open-source developers love their stats and also love acknowledgement of their contributions to the greater good. That’s what Stackalytics aims to do. The project was launched by Mirantis, an OpenStack Foundation Gold member.

Stackalytics, first disclosed on the OSF blog, lets you see how much a given company has contributed to any OpenStack project (based on GitHub data) and then drill down to individual contributors within that company, said Alex Freedland, chairman of Mirantis. Then you can also drill down into the contributor to see more detail about his or her work.

The goal here, as with most open source projects, is to be transparent and to evolve as needs change. Stats, as statisticians know, are open to interpretation and the idea is to let anyone question a given stat to make sure the best information is available.

If you look at the chart below, for example, you will see Dreamhost listed as the top contributor to the current Havana release of OpenStack, but that was a fluke, Freedland admitted. In that case, the large Quantum networking project was renamed and one contributor (who works at Dreamhost) reclassified a bunch of code. The auto-generated renaming process led to that anomaly which will be fixed, he said.

The next Stackalytics release will include a mechanism to vet any proposed changes to the stats. “If someone looks at a stat and feels something is incorrect, they can go in, mark it, community will review it and accept or deny that change,” Freedland told me.

Also coming is the ability for individual contributors to change their affiliation. As we all know, developers flow from company to company and right now ae  contributor’s name is hard-wired and hard to change if his or her job changes. There will also be a forum for discussing the stats and offering suggestions.

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Anyone who follows OpenStack knows that companies all vie for bragging rights to being biggest contributor. Rackspace, one of the original OpenStack parents, is typically listed as “the leader” but Red Hat has been making similar claims of late. So, using Stackalytics, ITWorld’s Nancy Gohring checked things out looking at the four latest versions of OpenStack. Her findings:

“It’s true that Red Hat and Rackspace make up a disproportionate chunk of commits over the three most recent versions. Combined, the companies contributed 43 percent of commits in Folsom. That’s down to 35 percent in Grizzly and 33 percent in Havana.

Even 33 percent is a bit heavy for a community project. But the needle is moving in the right direction. And the long list of contributors shows that there’s a good community of companies active in OpenStack.”

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