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Re: [Savannah-users] Why it seems to be no activity on Savannah?

From: Assaf Gordon
Subject: Re: [Savannah-users] Why it seems to be no activity on Savannah?
Date: Tue, 02 Jun 2015 11:45:35 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.7.0


On 06/02/2015 09:42 AM, Paul Smith wrote:
On Tue, 2015-06-02 at 07:26 -0400, Julian Marchant wrote:
I think you may be projecting an impression you have on a few Savannah
projects onto the entire Savannah site.
I think the more accurate statement is that there are a few projects
which are inactive _on Savannah_.

Savannah hasn't been around all that long in the history of the FSF /
GNU project, and many projects predate it.  Although most of those
projects may have a presence on Savannah now, often they still use
traditional methods of managing the project (mostly mailing lists)
rather than the Savannah facilities.  There's no mandate that a GNU
project MUST use Savannah for project management.

To expand on Paul's answer:

Savannah (as a source-code hosting platform) has been around since late 2000.
And some hosted projects go back as far as 1985 ('85 being the earliest commit 
I've found, but project themselves could be even older).

There are indeed many inactive hosted projects, but there are also few hundred 
very active projects, with several thousands commits per year.

What I think is causing the confusion (or the impression of "inactivity") is that unlike 
newer hosting platforms (Github/BitBucket/GoogleCode/etc.), the savannah website itself is not 
commonly used for day-to-day development activities. Instead, it is more commonly used as the 
project's administration interface, allowing the project's admins to set the repository 
(git/hg/svn/cvs), create mailing lists, setup homepage, manage users and so on. The Savannah web 
interface does offer web-based "trackers" (e.g. for bugs/tasks/patches/etc) which were 
based on old SourceForge codebase - but many project do not use them.

For most projects, the bulk of the activity happens on the mailing lists, code 
repositories, GNU's bug-tracker, etc.

For example, consider Emacs.
The Savannah interface does not show much activity - just the project's 
administration items:
The discussions happen on mailing lists (see how busy was May-2015):
bugs are tracked on the GNU DebBugs server:
And very active development is reflected in the git repository:

Other hosting platforms might provide web-based "dashboards" aggregating 
per-project/per-user activities, which gives an impression of high activity.
Savannah currently does not provide such a feature - but clearly it does not 
mean there is not activity.

 - assaf

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