Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mostly minuatae

Social networking in Trac thoughts
  • I set up toy local Trac and subversion servers to look at what information's available out of the box. It turns out that Trac doesn't really track anything that could be useful for building a graph of straight up social interactions. This suggests some things about how to set up the project - our repository authorship graph maker is a totally separate module from the social network graph maker, both export to a common network representation format, the recommendation engine combines them and spits out information, and the Trac plugin serves pretty views on that info. This is probably the best way to set it up regardless of the social network information source (especially if we want to be able to adapt it to different VCSs and viewers,) but it's good to start thinking about more concrete choices.
  • It's my understanding that at the Hadley Centre, they would likely be able to feed all work email history into the social graph maker, and that guided my description of how to create a social graph from yesterday. I'd really like to make a suite of tools that could potentially be useful to other projects, though, so it's worth thinking about what resources others might have available. Many open source projects use mailing lists to communicate, and it makes sense to base a social graph of mailing list participants on who has replied to whom. More on this as I consider it.
  • How should we track LOC edited? I don't know whether Hadley uses BDB or FSFS for their subversion backend. FSFS introspection looks pretty straightforward: each revision has an author, each revision file has a list of deltas, followed by a list of information about the files revised. It'd probably be better to use existing parsers, even if all we want is linecount/filename.

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