The Empirical Commit Frequency Distribution of Open Source Projects

This presentation is part of the WikiSym + OpenSym 2013 program.

Carsten Kolassa; Dirk Riehle; Michel Salim

A fundamental unit of work in programming is the code contribution (“”commit””) that a developer makes to the code base of the project in work. An author’s commit frequency describes how often that author commits. Knowing the distribution of all commit frequencies is a fundamental part of understanding software development processes. This paper presents a detailed quantitative analysis of commit frequencies in open-source software development. The analysis is based on a large sample of open source projects, and presents the overall distribution of commit frequencies. We analyze the data to show the differences between authors and projects by project size we also includes a comparison of successful and non successful projects and we derive an activity indicator from these analyses. By measuring a fundamental dimension of programming we help improve software development tools and our understanding of software development. We also validate that some fundamental assumptions about software development.

A PDF file will be made available on August 5, 2013, through the WikiSym + OpenSym 2013 conference proceedings.

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