Stack It: ohloh.net
by Tim O'Brien
We celebrate the diversity of choices available to solve a problem and call it freedom. IT managers and CIOs look at it and call it chaos, confusion and uncertainty.
Part of the problem is that we look at a collection of projects like Sourceforge, ASF, Codehaus, Tigris, JBoss, Java.net, and about a million other open source communities, and there is no central directory to compare project adoption or rate these components. To the uninitiated middle manager, open source is "chaos, confusion and uncertainty". If you are not familiar with the personalities and the communities, how do you sift through the noise without joining a million development mailing lists?
Ohloh.net: Bringing Order to this Free-for-all
I've been using this service for a few days, and IMO it is part of the solution to this problem. If we all agreed to start using it right now, and to vote for the software that is currently in our stack, we're going to provide adoption numbers. If we encourage ongoing ohloh usage, we'll be able to see emerging trends and shifts. I encourage you to sign up....
Not everyone has enough time to figure out the difference between Hibernate and iBatis. Not everyone has the time to sift through the marketing, hype, blogs that surround every corporate sponsored open source project in Javaland. Not everyone adopting open source wants to "participate", or ever wants to be told to "look at the source" on a mailing list. Not every adopting open source is a "developer" capable of understanding the source code. So, we need some tool for people interested in comparing relative adoption and reading reviews. We need a tool that a working developer can use to distill the rocket science into real community data. I think that ohloh.net can provide this insight, but only if we start to use it.
Now, Stack These:
|Looking at Struts 1 Ohloh.net thinks that Struts 1 has only been in existance for 7 months (rather than 6/7 years) - probably because of re-orgs in the repository when WebWork/Struts 2 was brought in.|
Sure, I see some problems (or not problems but "issues") with some of the metrics - for example, look at XFire and you'll see that it is exhibiting year-over-year participation declines and there is a warning as such - that's little dubious.
You are not the first one to argue that the OSS world offers so much choice that it is hard for people to orient themselves. There is some truth to this, I suppose, but frankly, I think the case can easily be overstated.
|This just goes to show, comparisons of this sort always seem to miss someting. Just as an example, what about XFire vs. Axis vs. Glassfish? Isn't the strength of Glassfish it's built in support for Web Services?|
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