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Patrick DeVivo

It's a new year, and a post listing the top 30 committers to the Blender project in 2021 was on the front-page of HN this morning.

Below is the list of top committers to the Blender project in 2021. The amount of commits obviously doesn’t mean much, but it’s a neutral metric to put limelight on people who made Blender possible last year.

As the post says, counting commits doesn't mean much alone, but it's a decent proxy for relative activity within a codebase. As a maintainer of the MergeStat project, a SQL interface to data in git, I wanted to show how to make a similar list for any repo, and take it a step further with some additional metrics.

info

Take a look at our CLI guide to run the following queries yourself, on any repo.

Top 30 Contributors by Commit Count​

Replicating the list in the original blog post can be done with the following query:

SELECT
count(*), author_name, author_email
FROM commits
WHERE parents < 2 -- ignore merge commits
AND strftime('%Y', author_when) = '2021' -- commits only authored in 2021
GROUP BY author_name, author_email
ORDER BY count(*) DESC
LIMIT 30

This yields a list of names (ordered and with counts) very similar to what's in the original post πŸ™‚.

Adding Commit Stats​

The stats table allows us to also look at the number of files modified in each commit as well as LOC added or removed. We can join the stats table with commits to measure:

  1. Total lines added by a contributor
  2. Total lines removed by a contributor
  3. Distinct files modified by a contributor

In addition to just counting the number of commits.

Blender 2021 Author Stats

SELECT
count(DISTINCT hash) AS commits,
sum(additions),
sum(deletions),
count(DISTINCT file_path),
author_name, author_email
FROM commits, stats('', commits.hash)
WHERE parents < 2 -- ignore merge commits
AND strftime('%Y', author_when) = '2021' -- commits only authored in 2021
GROUP BY author_name, author_email
ORDER BY count(*) DESC
LIMIT 30

Similar to counting commits, LOC added or removed doesn't mean much indepedently. Files modified (distinct files changed by an author over the year) is a bit more interesting - depending on the size/nature of a codebase, it could be a measure of how "deeply" involved a particular contributor is - i.e. someone who contributes to all aspects of the project, not just a subset of it.

Making Some Graphs​

Finally, by adding the --format csv flag to the mergestat command when executing the above queries, we can copy the output into a spreadsheet to make some charts.

Commit Count by Author

LOC Added/Removed by Author

Distinct Files Modified by Author

These queries should be portable to your own repositories (or any other). Try them out in our web app or with our CLI.

Join our Slack

We've recently launched a community Slack - feel free to stop in if you have questions or anything to share πŸŽ‰.