A few weeks ago I read a retweet of Miguel de Icaza (@ migueldeicaza) in which a math student posted a chart with data from the Mono project mailing list. He analyzed the whole archive of the standard, developer, bugs and patches mailing lists.
The plot was interesting because it showed a great correlation between the posts to the bug list and the posts to the patch list which according to the author meant a great activity by the mono developers and a great commitment to the project. On the other hand the graph showed a decrease in activity in developer and standard list. The cause of the decrease in the volume of these lists is because (according to the author) to other types of communication like Twitter, but few days later I read other news related to the project that made me doubt about this conclusion.
Attachmate has completely acquired Novell, which was funding some open source projects including the Mono project but it is not clear which will be Attachmate’s strategy regarding Mono and for now it has already announced the dismissal of an undetermined number of developers.
Shortly after Miguel de Icaza announced Xamarin, his new company focused on Mono-based products. They had already thought on spining Mono off from Novell because they believed it was the best for the project, now the decision to carry out this plan has been precipitated because he confirmed that in early May Attachmate laid off all the development teams.
I decided to analyze the repositories of the project to see how these movements have influenced the development of the project and also to compare the results with the graph showing the results from the mailing lists before all these news. (I used CVSAnalY and GNU/R )
There are two interesting things we see in this graph:
1. There is a strong correlation between the number of commits in the repository and the number of posts to the mailing lists (devel and and standard) so I think the decrease on the activity in mailing list in recent months is due to a decrease in the in the volume of development and not because there are other communication channels as suggested by the author.
2. You can observe a sharp decline in number of commits in May over the previous months so we could confirm that (obviously) the latest changes in Novell have adversely affected the development of software in the project.