The Document Foundation Blog


A glimpse at our developer community

Filed under: Community — Florian Effenberger @ 06:50

Since the start of The Document Foundation, we’ve been aiming for a healthy and vivid ecosystem, for involving many corporate contributors, as well as for strenghtening the volunteer developers. Looking at the current numbers, it becomes obvious that the developer community is indeed well balanced between company-sponsored contributors and independent community volunteers:

Employers with the most developers (total 300)

  • (Unknown): 205 (68.3%)
  • Oracle: 54 (18.0%)
  • SUSE: 20 (6.7%)
  • Known contributors: 9 (3.0%)
  • Canonical: 4 (1.3%)
  • Redhat: 2 (0.7%)
  • SIL: 2 (0.7%)
  • CodeThink: 1 (0.3%)
  • Bobiciel: 1 (0.3%)
  • Lanedo: 1 (0.3%)
  • Tata Consultancy Services: 1 (0.3%)
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


  1. Well … it seems the numbers are not related with the graphic … Oracle and its 54 supposed developers … they left months ago … It would be very interesting knowing the real numbers of these last months. Regards.

    Comment by Marto — 2011/07/26 @ 08:22

    • These are the real numbers, as we do not need to tweak them in order to have a better looking graph. Oracle contributions are related to the OOo code that has been merged with LibreOffice, and in fact the number of commits has decreased dramatically during the last few months. There are, though, some former Oracle developers contributing on a volunteer basis to LibreOffice, and this is the reason why there is still a very small percentage of commits marked as “Oracle” for consistency (as these people are still with Oracle, although they are not working any more on OOo).

      Comment by italovignoli — 2011/07/26 @ 08:58

      • I didn’t mean you were tweaking anything (I can see the graphic chart) … sorry if I haven’t expressed properly myself. What I really meant was that it would be very, very interesting to know the DATA chart numbers (with enterprise member numbers and its percentages) of these last months … say April, May and June. Thank you and regards.

        Comment by Marto — 2011/07/26 @ 09:14

      • If you look at the area chart, it is quite clear what has happened when Oracle has stopped the activity on OOo code, and therefore the number of Oracle contributors has decreased quite sharply: the number of other contributors has not changed in a significant way and has always been between 60 and 70 (on a monthly basis), from a global group of over 140 (20 paid, 40 regular volunteers, and 80 less regular volunteers). In addition, there is a larger number of volunteers working on easier tasks, who are getting acquainted with the source code in order to escalate to other tasks. Of course, we are speaking of volunteers, and therefore of people working on LibreOffice during their free time, who have to put together a job, the family and their friends. Most volunteers come and go, and then come back and go again. This is the reason why it is so difficult to have a specific number at a specific time. Anyway, in 10 years of OOo history, the global number of independent developers committing code has probably been lower than the number of volunteers contributing to LibreOffice in a month, and this is already a huge achievement.

        Comment by italovignoli — 2011/07/26 @ 21:54

    • Hi Marto, thanks for your interest.

      Of course you are -more- than welcome to reproduce the numbers, actually you are encouraged to :-) Our gitdm setup, affiliation database and patches are here: – actually cedric is on holiday so there is a 2 line affiliation change around TCS and Lanedo that is not yet merged, but otherwise that is it. You need to apply the patches to gitdm itself (you’ll need that from git clone git:// ) – we try to get the patches up-stream over time – but it goes slowly. Bug reports very much appreciated, we want our numbers to be as accurate as possible.

      As regards the mismatch between the total numbers of developers since we launched contributing, and the number contributing per month (which is what the graph shows), clearly some contribute intermittently, and there is some turnover of developers over time of course – which explains the mismatch perhaps (?).

      It’d be great to have more work and scrutiny on the data sets. Oh – there is one further gotcha, LibreOffice contains -lots- of respositories – it is necessary not just to clone ‘bootstrap’ but to and then run ‘./download’ to get all the repositories checked out [ I think this was Rob Weir's silly mistake when he got much lower numbers :-]

      Hopefully that helps.

      Comment by Michael Meeks — 2011/07/26 @ 14:15

      • Hi Michael,

        well … I am not a developer, just a user … you know your new project is very atractive not just for developers … but for users too. As a user I hardly even know what ‘gitdm’ , ‘botstrap’ or ‘’ are… I am afraid the only thing I can do by now is thank you for your work … and apologize if I have made any inconvenience (for a second I forgot you guys are busy and your resources are limited).

        Concerning the explaining second paragraph (the one I have most understood) it has helped me to better interpret the data and graphic charts.

        Thank you again and regards.

        Comment by Marto — 2011/07/26 @ 16:28

  2. Bien¡¡¡ gracias a todos por trabajar duro y permitirnos usar esta útil herramienta de trabajo, que cada día mejora, desde Guatemala, Gracias.

    Comment by Felipe de León — 2011/07/26 @ 13:38

  3. Quick correction Lanedo in fact have two developers, but I mis-identified Mitch, as was just pointed out to me.

    Comment by Michael Meeks — 2011/07/26 @ 14:07

  4. [...] The Document Foundation provided an illustration of its developer [...]

    Pingback by 451 CAOS Theory » 451 CAOS Links 2011.07.26 — 2011/07/26 @ 16:00

  5. Perhaps in the future color-coded graph keys could provide “swatches” that are something larger than 0.1 inches on a typical screen? Half of the male population (and 10% of the female) experience some degree of color vision deficiency and it would be helpful if larger samples were provided for matching.

    Despite my curmudgeonly comment, thanks for the report.

    Comment by saulgoode — 2011/07/27 @ 11:10

    • You are definitely right. I am myself quite short sighted when it comes to reading (being close to 60). We are preparing a pie chart for our upcoming announcement of LibreOffice 3.4.2, and we are working together with the developers in order to have data available more frequently. For the time being, we are still working on aggregate figures, but in the future I am sure we will be getting more details.

      Comment by italovignoli — 2011/07/27 @ 11:22

  6. [...] eredeti bejegyzés itt [...]

    Pingback by – TDF: fejlesztői statisztika — 2011/07/27 @ 19:50

  7. As usual the Ubuntu crowd are committing very little upstream. This is almost criminal as they are one of the most used open source distros. They just take, take, take from the Open Source community and what they give back is usually pure crap, like Unity or the slow, bloated Software Centre. It’s about time the Ubuntu community started pulling their weight.

    Comment by Johnsie — 2011/07/28 @ 14:17

    • Your perception is quite wrong, at least about committing upstream. Canonical has 4 developers committing LibreOffice code, and one of them – Bjoern Michaelsen – has been one of the most active ones since he has joined Canonical from Oracle in February, and is a key member of the ESC. The area graph shows the number of developers, while ignores the number of commits (Bjoern is one of the top 5 committers, and has provided some key code for GNUMake). We are working to improve our visuals, and we will be releasing some more graphs with the upcoming press release for the announcement of LibreOffice 3.4.2, and some more during August (when volunteers usually have some more time for the project, as the daily workload is usually lower). Anyway, a single graph out of context might be misleading, so please wait until we will be able to provide the full picture.

      Comment by italovignoli — 2011/07/28 @ 15:07

  8. Could you also give some information of non-code contributors, for example statistics on people submitting bugs? I’m an end user who move from Open Office to Libre Office. I find the bug tracking process extremely complex and often as talking to a wall. I’ve logged onto the IRC (the one advertised as “chat with our developers” on the LO frontpage) and have gotten no replies on questions on the bug and bug handling in general. I’ve also filed a bug report that as clearly as I can describe the bug and updated it with relevant information for subsequent versions of Libre Office. I’ve also looked into joining some or other email list to get traction for resolving the bug, but I found the instructions hard to follow and there where a lot of things about not wasting developers time and so on which have refrain from joining any such list. I also don’t understand why I should join some email list when I’ve already filed a bug at the bug tracker. No developer has commented anything on the bug page. I’m not even sure if any developer has noticed it. It was several months ago. I often submit well researched bugs for other open office applications elsewhere (on Sourceforge for example) and usually you get a reaction from a dev, saying “confirmed bug but low priority” or “fix on track for next release” or whatever. Some reaction. I get the feeling that a lot of Libre Office users are in the same situation. So please find ways to better utilize the power and effort of your users when it comes to bug handling.

    Comment by a — 2011/07/29 @ 17:18

  9. I meant for “other open source” applications. Sorry for the typos, english is not my native language.

    Comment by a — 2011/07/29 @ 17:20

  10. [...] on the number of contribution and contributors from the various sources. While Effenberger’s post provides much less detail, it still provides a glimpse into the composition of the growing [...]

    Pingback by Learn something Today » Blog Archive » LibreOffice Developer Glimpse Proves Balance — 2011/08/17 @ 13:33

  11. [...] on the number of contribution and contributors from the various sources. While Effenberger’s post provides much less detail, it still provides a glimpse into the composition of the growing [...]

    Pingback by LibreOffice Developer Glimpse Proves Balance :: WES Computing — 2011/11/04 @ 09:21

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