GitClear, maker of a toolkit for generating software project performance metrics, has publicly released Open Repos, a free tool to make it easier for contributors to participate in open source development by better visualizing how the codebase changes between releases.
Open Repos tracks a number of high-profile open source projects including TensorFlow, Ansible, Microsoft Visual Studio Code, Angular, and React. The goal of the product, according to GitClear’s announcement blog post, is to provide visual answers to common practical questions people have about an open source project’s status that often aren’t readily available from code-hosting hubs.
Examples of such questions would be how much change there has been between versions of open source software used in one’s own code base, or what the velocity of code change is for the repo—the latter being a good indicator of how hard it would be to keep up if one chose to contribute.
Open Repos provides interactive graphics that show which developers have made the largest commits to each codebase. A directory browser shows a file-and-directory view of the repository, with details on the folders or files that have changed, and at what rate. The releases view shows all the released versions of the product (as tracked through GitHub releases or similar mechanisms), and again how much of a change each version provides.
GitClear is offering Open Repos as a free product, though it is not open source. GitClear’s paid product offers many of the same insights and more. Long-term plans include allowing projects to embed an Open Repos view of a project in their site, and “improving data quality before adding features.”