In particular I'm interested in the following information:
How many active FOSS projects are there in the market? What is the dynamic of this metric, is it growing or going down? How many people in total are taking participation in these projects (contributors)? How many lines of code per year they are producing? How many languages are used, which are the top 10? How many abandoned projects (no changes for, say, a year)?
Ohloh.net publishes this information? Maybe there are some public resources/articles/blogs/papers where I can find this info. I need it for my scientific research paper. Thanks.
@fazend, some of what you're looking for is available on the ohloh site. Click on "Tools" and you'll find the capability to compare projects, languages, and repositories for the projects that ohloh scans.
This is a hard problem however. For instance:
o there are no databases that scan every last FOSS project out there. ohloh looks at over 250,000 code repositories, projects, and forums. That is a lot but it isn't all of them!
o it is hard to count contributors, since it can be difficult to know that two particular contributor IDs on different projects are actually the same person.
o there are many different definitions of "active". Are active projects those with commits? Contributors? Forum posts? Downloads? How many commits constitute "active"? Does that number vary depending on the overall size of the code base and the number of committers? Hard question!
o how can you reliably tell when a project forks, and when it just has multiple development threads?
You get the idea - you're asking some really interesting and challenging questions! Please check out the Tools page and let us know what you think. As for other sources of info, you might have a look at the statistics published on some of the code forge sites.
Anyone else have some suggestions for @fazend's research?
Thanks for reply, I already reviewed the "Tools" section of ohloh.net and found it interesting. However, it is not what I'm looking for. As you understood, I need an overall review of the market, not of some particular projects. And I'm sure that ohloh.net is one of the best sources of information (250K projects is a very representative number!).
Would be very nice if you can add a new page to your site, called, say "Market Watch", where you publish YOUR view of the software market. I'm sure that this information would be interesting for many different purposes, not only scientific (like mine), but also purely commercial.
Don't worry to make "mistakes" in this Market Watch by incorrectly defining some metrics (like "what projects are active"). Just explain how YOU define them. And then you will receive feedback from users, and you will be able to correct your metrics.
I would love to see this feature on ohloh.net :)