Ohloh is an excellent resource for tracking open source projects and their contributions. The site allows you to search 10 billion lines of code and provides some fascinating data sets for OS projects, including WordPress and many of its popular plugins.
Ohloh’s analysis of “WordPress in a Nutshell” is based on the stats it was able to mine from the code and some in-house estimates. It provides an interesting perspective on the project:
- WordPress has had 25,085 commits made by 52 contributors representing 248,090 lines of code
- WordPress is mostly written in PHP with an average number of source code comments (as compared to other PHP projects in Ohloh)
- WordPress has a well established, mature codebase, maintained by a large development team with stable Y-O-Y commits
- WordPress took an estimated 64 years of effort (COCOMO model) starting with its first commit in April, 2003, ending with its most recent commit about 4 hours ago
In addition to the historical data provided about commits to the project, the assessment of the trends in recent activity is quite valuable to those working within the WordPress ecosystem.
Communicating “Free, Yet Priceless” Is Not Easy
If you’ve built a business around providing WordPress development services, the insight provided here can help you articulate your confidence in the stability of the project for clients who are new to OS software. The notion of using software that is free to download may be off-putting to business owners who are used to judging value by dollars and time invested.
Ohlo’s estimated cost of WordPress is $3,488,557 with 63 person-years of effort, using the Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO). While software cost estimation isn’t an exact science, especially for distributed open-source projects, a basic understanding of the COCOMO calculations provides an interesting perspective on WordPress’ value. It also reveals the power of like-minded contributors working together toward a common goal.
When you take into account the combined personnel attributes required to engineer and maintain a project of this size, there are few corporate entities that would have the budget to produce a project like WordPress in-house for their own development needs. That’s the beauty of open source software. Developers are happy to contribute to projects they believe in, and you can bank on people believing in the philosophy behind WordPress.
Visualize WordPress Lines of Code By Language
The languages summary of the code base is of particular interest during a time when the WordPress community has been enthusiastically embracing dialogues about its future. Ohloh offers a visual representation of WordPress lines of code by language:
Ohloh’s graphs make it easy to visualize composite languages used in WordPress code and lets you toggle by year in order to further explore the data and follow the resulting trends.
It would be awesome if some day WordPress.org could display more stats related to its code and contributions, which would undoubtedly provide some more meaningful data on other aspects of the project as a whole. In the meantime, Ohloh is an excellent resource to bookmark for an interesting perspective on what’s happening with the WordPress code base.