Esther Schindler (Slashdot reader #16,185), shares some thoughts from long-time tech reporter Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols:
We’d like an easy way to judge open-source programs. It can be done. But easily? That’s another matter… Plenty of people have created systems to collect, judge, and evaluate open-source projects, including information about a project’s popularity, reliability, and activity. But each of those review sites — and their methodologies — have flaws.
The article looks at a variety of attempts, including freshmeat.net; Eric Raymond’s attempt to revive Freecode; GitHub’s star (which Docker’s co-founder calls a “bullshit metric”); Synopsys’s Black Duck Open Hub (formerly Ohloh); and even Google Trends. But it wraps up by pointing out that Brian Profitt, Red Hat’s Open Source Program Office (OSPO) manager, is working with others on “Project CHAOSS,” a new Linux Foundation project to make it easy to evaluate open-source projects.
This pulled together Grimoirelab and similar programs, such as Augur and Red Hat’s own Prospector… Its metrics include what kinds of contributions are being made; when the contributions are made; and who’s making the contributions. All of which are vital to understanding the overall health of a project.
CHAOSS is still a work in progress. Its official release is scheduled for February 2021… Ultimately, this data will be available to all, from end users to the project leads. “In fact, I hope this happens a lot, because we can refine our models more quickly,” says Profitt.
We were so poor we couldn’t afford a watchdog. If we heard a noise at night,
we’d bark ourselves.
— Crazy Jimmy