Visualizing libvirt development history using gource and code swarm

Posted: January 16th, 2010 | Filed under: libvirt, Virt Tools | Tags: | 3 Comments »

Michael DeHaan yesterday posted an example using gource to visualize Cobbler development history. Development on Cobbler started in April 2006, making it a similar vintage to libvirt whose development started in November 2005. So I thought it would be interesting to produce a visualization of libvirt development as a comparison.

Head over to the YouTube page for this video if it doesn’t show the option watch in highdef in this embedded viewer. HD makes it much easier to make out the names

Until July last year, libvirt was using CVS for source control. Among a great many disadvantages of CVS is that it does not track author attribution at all, so the first 3 & 1/2 years show an inaccurately small contributor base. Watching the video it is clear when the switch to GIT happened as the number of authors explodes. Even with the inaccuracies from the CVS history, it is clear from the video just how much development of libvirt has been expanding over the past 4 years, particularly with the expansion to cover VirtualBox and VMWare ESX server as hypervisor targets. This video was generated on Fedora 12 using

 # gource -s 0.07 --auto-skip-seconds 0.1 \
          --file-idle-time 500 --disable-progress \
          --output-framerate 25 --highlight-all-users \
          -1280x720 --stop-at-end --output-ppm-stream - \
 | ffmpeg -y -b 15000K -r 17 -f image2pipe -vcodec ppm \
          -i - -vcodec mpeg4 libvirt-2010-01-15-alt.mp4

gource isn’t the only source code visualization application around. Last year a project called code swarm came along too. It has a rather different & simpler physics model to gource, not showing the directory structure explicitly. As a comparison I produced a visualization of libvirt using code_swarm too:

Head over to the YouTube page for this video if it doesn’t show the option to watch in highdef in this embedded viewer. HD makes it much easier to make out the names

In this video the libvirt files are coloured into four groups, source code, test cases, documentation and i18n data (ie translated .po files). Each coloured dot represents a file, and each developer exerts a gravitional pull on files they have modified. For the years in which libvirt used CVS there were just a handful of developers who committed changes.This results in a visualization where developers have largely overlapping spheres of influence on files. In the last 6 months with GIT, changes have correct author attribution, so the visualization spreads out more accurately reflecting who is changing what. In the end, I think I rather prefer gource’s results because it has a less abstract view of the source tree and better illustrates the rate of change over time.

Finally, can anyone recommend a reliable online video hosting service that’s using HTML5 + Ogg Theora yet ? I can easily encode these videos in Ogg Theora, but don’t want to host the 200 MB files on my own webserver since it doesn’t have the bandwidth to cope.

3 Responses to “Visualizing libvirt development history using gource and code swarm”

  1. DV says:

    I saw Michael post, though about trying it
    out but I stopped when it wasn't found with yum :-)
    Just put it on !
    for example, that should be also available via http under /sources/video/


  2. nicu says:

    No HTML5, but allow for watching .OGV files and also for direct downlaod of the source. They also have better image quality comapred with YouTube.

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