Tuesday, July 31, 2012

GitMoon is social analytics for Node.js open-source developers


Check out GitMoon - social analytics for Node.js open-source projects!

Open source is fun. Sure, a lot of hard work is involved, but it's great to do something for the community! Now how frustrating is it to publish our project on the wild and never know who is using it (who as in face and picture)? Or to never know how successful our project is? Not to mention seeing how a typical usage looks like so we can improve the next versions.

Embracing GitHub
Github was an amazing game changer here. I love GitHub (Ben and Marc seem to concur) and use it a lot. I also predict great success for github enterprise in this era of IT consumerization: Open source developers are consumers and no old school CIO will tell them which scm to use. And here comes the but: Github is not perfect for the social and analytics needs of the community.

(tl;dr rant) What does it mean to watch a project in github? Does GH watch == Facebook like? Is it "I use it"? It sure is spamming my feed with every check in made to that project. I LIKE node.js but I can't WATCH it. Too much noise. Or let's talk analytics. The GH analytics module is very oriented to give the consumers visibility into how viable and live is this project. This is a great decision supporting tool for them. But let's not forget the project developer! We, developers, want to know who is using us. Who as in name and face. Social, you know. We want to know how successful our project is. How many people use it? How many projects depend on it? If 1 project depends on my project, and 10 projects depend on that one project, and 10 more projects depend on each one of them, then the way I see it the number of projects that depends on me is 1+10+10*10! Moreover, not only 5 users watch my project anymore, but hunderds of users watching every single project in the "network"!

Wouldn't it be cool to have visibility into all this?

So is it an ego thing? While there is nothing wrong with it, you should stay out of the github kitchen if you don't want anyone forking out with "your" stuff. But there's far more than ego here. You want to know how your project is being used so you can decide what's the next steps and next milestone priorities. How about flipping a journal with all the code excerpts that use your code? You'll love CodeBacks:

Ever wondered if your project needs to co-exist with fingernails toejam 2.0? Knowing what other libraries your project users employ together can hint you on your real testing priorities. Meet similar projects:

All this git
GitMoon embraces Github. To start with it uses the github excellent api. The first edition of GitMoon is node.js flavoured, so npm information is also used. Npm is an amazingly simple and gets-the-job-done package manager - you're now able to analyze it.

Not sure where to go next? Try async, mocha, mongoose, azure, ws.js or any of your favorite node projects in GitMoon.


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Ken Egozi said...

super! I wish it was doing that analysis for all github projects, not only npm ones

Yaron Naveh (MVP) said...

@Ken - node.js was a good option to start since it is rather small and npm gives me good information on project dependencies which is central to GitMoon.