[Update: we have published a more accurate and validated report, please have a look at it]
WebKit is a well known free, open source software project which is producing the core of several of the most popular web browsers. Several companies (and other actors) are collaborating together to build this component, which is key to many of them. The two main players in WebKit are Apple and Google, but it is less known that there are many others participating actively as well. They are far away from the big players, but all together account for a sizable fraction of the total activity.
This post is the first of a series on different aspects of WebKit development, based on the analytics we at Bitergia are gathering about it. Our take is that WebKit is one of those projects massively used by the industry, and therefore worth studying with the aim of providing quantitative and objective data about it.
Specifically, this post is focused on the analysis of the evolution of the activity of companies in the WebKit source code management repository (currently Subversion, formerly CVS) since it was released as an open project back in 2005 and before, when it was still an internal project at Apple (if you don’t know about it, have a look at the fascinating history of the project since its ancient origins in KDE). The analysis of this activity provides useful information to understand, for example, how strongly companies are betting for the project (in terms of contributions to it), and what is probably more relevant,which companies are having some kind of “soft” control. Continue reading