Visualize WordPress Project Stats With Ohloh


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:

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:

WordPress lines of code by Language
WordPress lines of code by Language

It’s interesting to note that CSS and Javascript seem to parallel each other in terms of moderate growth over the years. PHP is still the fastest growing language in the code base, although WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg predicts that Javascript will someday make up the better part of its code. When speaking at WordCamp Europe 2013, Mullenweg’s advice to attendees was: “If you’re a developer today, learn as much JavaScript as possible.”

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.

commits-per-monthEven with Ohloh’s limited access to the project’s public data, it’s fascinating to see how it has been able to provide visuals for stats such as commits per month and contributors per month.

It would be awesome if some day 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.


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