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From Henri Yandell <bay...@generationjava.com>
Subject Re: Tracking commons component liveliness
Date Wed, 27 Jul 2005 12:44:10 GMT


On Wed, 27 Jul 2005, Simon Kitching wrote:

> There have recently been some discussions about handling dormant/dead
> commons projects. And I've been wondering about the activity levels of
> some projects recently (whether they are dead or not).
>
> It's hard to track activity by email volumes, and subversion commit
> counts can be misleading for two reasons:
> * some commits are done to fix widespread issues such as copyright
>  dates, while not actually indicating activity on a project

Couple of thoughts on this one. We could try to train everybody to include 
a [GLOBAL] flag when doing such things, or, being as it's subversion, we 
could actually have a script that analyses the globalness on a commit.

It'd still be tricked by somebody doing many individual commits as part of 
a global effort.

> * some projects are perfectly stable, and so have low activity counts
>  though they are by no means dead and still have maintainers around.

No problem. These guys should still be listed on the inactive list, we 
would just look at them and each time agree that they are fine.

One of the problems with a low activity, by no means dead project is that 
nobody notices when it becomes dead.

> I've got a suggestion to make about tracking this.
>
> We could put up a page on the wiki (or maybe directly on the
> jakarta-commons main page) listing all the projects (main and sandbox).
> Next to each project would be listed the currently active developers and
> a date.

Downside is that it involves a lot of reliance on people to do things
periodically. These kind of systems seem to fail usually because we're
inherently lazy/easily bored.

Also, in Jakarta terms, you're talking about moving 50->100 people, which 
is a fair amount of inertia. That said, this idea would let us purge the 
cvs/svn authorizations and unix group of all the people who are no longer 
active in Jakarta.

Another possibility would be to have a file in subversion with this 
information (rather than wiki) which we could use as the configuration for 
a script to tell us about activity. skitching and rdonkin would be listed 
as the only ECS committers let's say. If bayard made a change to the ECS 
base, it would not count as activity as it would be assumed to be global. 
If skitching made a change, it would be counted as activity, even if 
global.

Said script could then let us know how long it was since each committer on 
a subproject made a commit and when that hits a year or so we could have 
periodic clear-outs.

We could also hook it to the mail mboxes to look for last email on a 
mailing list etc.

Could be something all of Apache could use. Infra have a jira issue to 
create a 'find inactive committers' script, this is effectively a variant 
on that.

Hen

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