Ohloh, a resource for open source intelligence on thousands of open source projects, has up-to-date information on open source projects and the people who develop them, Scott Collison, CEO of Ohloh, told internetnews.com.
Ohloh collects software metrics from a variety of sources, including the project's source code and the software development infrastructure used by the project's development team. The site provides information about lines of code, licensing and languages in a project, as well as stack information about open source projects people use and in which combinations.
For example, for Mozilla Firefox, Ohloh has calculated that there are 364,376 lines of code. According to Ohloh, that would take 95 "person years" of effort to complete. At an average salary of $55,000 per year per developer that translates into a project cost for Firefox of nearly $5.3 million.
Ohloh also rates open source projects. "We offer a project summary that will warn you if a project is an outlier," Collison explained. "So for example, if we don't see any development activity for six months, we give you a warning.
"Ohloh lets you know whether a project is average, below average or above average."
A common refrain among open source detractors is that most of the open source projects on the SourceForge open source repository are abandoned efforts. Ohloh gets around that issue but not by relying on SourceForge for its popularity index.
"Their activity rating is based on how people are interacting with the project just through the lens of Sourceforge," Collison said. "We need something consistent across all forges."
To that end, Ohloh spiders the Web, extracting information from CVS, SVN, GIT and other source-control repositories, and then it normalizes that information for use by Ohloh. The Ohloh popularity index is then based on that wider information base.
Though Ohloh is all about providing information on open source code, Ohloh is not an open source effort yet. Collison said the Ohloh code is an internal effort but it does intend to open source its data-collection tools.
"Right now we're heads down on making this stuff and we need to be thoughtful about cleaning up the code and having good documentation for when we release it," Collison said.