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From "Mattmann, Chris A (3980)" <>
Subject Re: Measuring Contributors, Contributions and Community Actvity
Date Mon, 04 Aug 2014 17:19:16 GMT
I open sourced my scripts I wrote a while back to measure incubator
mentor health, etc.

Not sure if this is entirely related, but it's here:


Chris Mattmann, Ph.D.
Chief Architect
Instrument Software and Science Data Systems Section (398)
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, CA 91109 USA
Office: 168-519, Mailstop: 168-527
Adjunct Associate Professor, Computer Science Department
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089 USA

-----Original Message-----
From: Roman Shaposhnik <>
Reply-To: "" <>
Date: Monday, August 4, 2014 10:17 AM
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: Measuring Contributors, Contributions and Community Actvity

>Being perhaps a late comer to this thread (just got back from vacation)
>I need to ask: what is the problem we're trying discuss here?
>During my tenure at ASF I've definitely seen non-code contributing
>project participants being treat with utmost respect and elected
>all the way to PMC membership by some projects. I've also seen
>code contributing heavy-hitters being treated like crap by some other
>Honestly, I don't think this is a function of terminology.
>An orthogonal issue, is that of community health metrics. I tend
>to be in the camp that considers them extremely valuable source
>of feedback. To that end, there's currently an effort underway
>to get some sort of POC in place and let others clearly see the value.
>Now that I'm back from my vacation (and a prior 3 weeks of corp.
>sprit to OSCON) I honestly expect to have more time to dedicate
>to the project. In anybody on this list is interested -- the more the
>merrier. ;-)
>On Sat, Aug 2, 2014 at 3:05 PM, Pierre Smits <>
>> Noah,
>> First of all, and I guess that you are aware of this, the document ŒHow
>> ASF Works¹ describes the following roles regarding non-committing
>> participants in the communities of the ASF  projects:
>> The *user*: A user is someone that uses our software.
>> For the sake of brevity lets accept that this can also be an
>> that consumes the work of a project, and is represented by a person.
>> The description then reads on that these Œusers¹ contribute to the
>> projects by providing feedback in the form of bug reports and feature
>> suggestions. And users participate in the Apache community by helping
>> others on mailing lists and support forums.
>> The *developer* (aka the *contributor*): is a user who contributes to a
>> project in the form of code or documentation. They take extra steps to
>> participate in a project, are active in the developer mailing list ,
>> participate in discussions, provide patches, documentation, suggestions,
>> and criticism.
>> Both descriptions use the word Œcontribute¹, but the first group of
>> participants is regarded as users (not contributors), and the second
>> does (more or less) the same as the first group (but has this aka
>> Œcontributor¹ which the first doesn¹t have, but is also described as
>> Œuser¹).
>> I would say that a user of the work of a project participates in the
>> community, because he (or the organisation he represents) consumes the
>> and has questions thereabouts. Questions like:
>> - What is this function we¹re talking about?
>> - When will the function be released?
>> - Where can I find the documentation?
>> - Why does this function not work?
>> - How should this function work?
>> And why is that? I would say, because nine out of ten times the second
>> important work  of the project is incomplete, inconclusive, to
>> to extensive, etc. I am talking about the documentation related to the
>> Or he might even rant about how shitty the work or the project is.
>> A contributor is a person who does more than just ask these questions.
>> provides feedback in the user mailing list to such questions, he hold
>> presentations on the project and the work of the project, he registers
>> reports , he improve documentation or the code base of the project, or
>> write books about the work, blogs, tweets, etc, etc.
>> Nevertheless, without the clear-cut distinction between the two there
>> always be ambiguity about what a contributor is, and might lead to the
>> (perception of) degradation of this participant to second class. As has
>> been written about in the past few weeks.
>> *Measuring contributors*
>> When talking about measuring the number of contributors in a community
>> should first clear the definitions.
>> Based on what a contributor does, one could say that it could be
>> by whether a participant is subscribed to the dev mailing list and/or
>> equivalent of a JIRA account for registering bugs and patches. As it
>> likely that a contributor will register to the dev mailing list to
>> participate there as well or have a Issue Mgt account than somebody who
>> just using the work.
>> But that is not totally conclusive, as some contributors can choose to
>> operate only in the user mailing list, or hold presentations. Such
>> activities doesn¹t make them less of a contributor. So something more
>> to be done there. Or am I wrong here?
>> *Measuring community activity (project liveliness)*
>> I agree with you that measuring the number of unanswered threads in the
>> user mailing list says something about community activity. But, the same
>> goes for unanswered threads in the dev mailing list. So that should be
>> included as well when trying to have something conclusive to say about
>> liveliness of a project.
>> But why exclude trends in influx of new users and new contributors, as
>> also say something of the liveliness of the community and hence the
>> project? The first indicates adoption, the second commitment.
>> The first aspect (new users) is easy to measure by counting the new user
>> mailing list registrations in a period, or even the first posting of a
>> registrant, or the combination of both. This should be feasible to
>> Or isn¹t it?
>> The second aspect (new contributors) can be measured by registrations of
>> new accounts in the dev mailing list of a project, and/or registration
>>of a
>> JIRA (or equivalent) account. Or even the number of reactions made by
>> registrant to a thread in the user mailing list. But I suspect that it
>> needs to be a combination of sorts. Don¹t you agree?
>> Best regards,
>> Pierre Smits
>> *ORRTIZ.COM <>*
>> Services & Solutions for Cloud-
>> Based Manufacturing, Professional
>> Services and Retail & Trade

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