When interested in understanding how the activity of a software project is evolving over time, there are too many parameters to follow, even considering only those that can be directly extracted from development repositories. In our previous post on plotting the activity of a project, we proposed a miriad of plots to show the many aspects of this activity. However complete this perspective may be, it is still somewhat confusing for the untrained eye, and it is difficult to relate how different parameters were behaving on the same time span. Therefore, we have been exploring using Envision to show a more compact, yet complete, view of what is happening in the project over time.
If you browse the real webpage, you’ll notice how you can move the pointer over the plots, to see how they are related, and find out numerical information at any point in time. In this case, information from the GNOME Shell git repository is presented in the left, while the right shows data about the activity in its Bugzilla repository (it could be top and bottom instead of left and right, if you have a narrow browser). You can drag the selectors on both ends of the lower plots to select the time frame which is of interest, to study it in more detail. The idea is to visualize in just one shot how the project is performing, but with enough information to perceive the evolution of the different parameters at the same time.