The Document Foundation Blog


Waving TDF Long Tail

Filed under: Community, LibreOffice, Technology — Tags: , , , , — italovignoli @ 14:10

TDF Long Tail

In 2012, developers hacking LibreOffice code have been around 320, with a majority of volunteers and a minority of people paid by companies such as SUSE, RedHat and Canonical (plus a multitude of smaller organizations such as Lanedo, which is also a member of our Advisory Board and builds a significant part of its business by providing development related value added services on top of LibreOffice code).

The graphic visualization of the individual commits has the shape of a “long tail“. The pie is an explosion of the work done by the top 33 hackers with 100+ commits: 16 volunteers, and 17 paid developers (11 from SUSE, 5 from RedHat and one from Canonical). At TDF, we do not have “paid volunteers” because we love transparency and truth.

If you are not familiar with the importance of the “long tail”, especially for free software projects, you might get some interesting insights from the following TED speech, by Clay Shirky:

Clay Shirky has inspired the work of Chris Anderson on the long tail (article, book and blog) with his 2003 essay “Power Laws, Weblogs and Inequality“, which is a very interesting reading.


  1. That X axis scale is seriously confusing.

    Comment by Ralph Aichinger — 2013/01/08 @ 10:03

    • Also struggling with the Y-axis, I can see the X-axis extraction around the “top 33 hackers with 100+ commits” but then 33 x 100+ = 3300+ and not 2200.
      I really enjoyed the video, very mart and makes me think about our “communities”.

      Comment by Phillip Strauss — 2013/01/19 @ 10:51

  2. this is what scientific socialism means: not excluding anybody & affording equal opportunity to everybody to ensure which you need to break the backbone of the largest corporations that reward just a few who are more capable than their fellow-travelers.

    Comment by Samikkannu A.v. — 2013/01/08 @ 12:39

    • rephrased / tweaked to the next version: this is what scientific community means: giving everyone access to the tools they need to be able to accomplish significant things, big or small, believing that everyone, anyone is capable of contributing something positive to the community if they really desired to, and get started working on it once they have decided to go in the most fruitful direction.

      Comment by LO User — 2013/01/18 @ 02:43

  3. I’m no math whiz, am not a developer nor programmer but both graphs are clear to me. It did take me a moment to realize the circle graph is read counter-clockwise and the individual names right-to left line by line rather than by column – no biggie there. As to the XY graph, seems clear that it is person 1 who made the 2200 commits and number 33 who made at least 100. To know the total commits by those 33 would be interesting but one would have to identify and sum all of their totals. To me as an individual user I take off my hat to each and every person who made even one commit. Many, many thanks.

    Comment by Georges Rex — 2013/01/23 @ 07:16


    Comment by Alala — 2013/01/30 @ 11:43

  5. I’m only a user that couldn understand this video but enjoy the product

    Comment by pulau tidung indah — 2013/09/10 @ 10:47

  6. Hola, encontré estos videos y me parecieron interesantes, los comparto con ustedes.

    En este video encontraran algunas de las diferencias entre libreoffice y openoffice

    Para hacer una correcta migración de MS office LibreOffice u OpenOffice

    Para cursos completos de libreoffice y openoffice pueden visitar

    Comment by jjaimes77 — 2013/10/11 @ 15:52

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