Ben Ripkens

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Visualizing source code repository activity

I just found a really nice application for visualization of source code repository activity. The application is called Gource and can create a video which illustrates how (colour of the beam), when (date) and what (the beam) files the committers are touching. It’s kinda hard to explain, so just check out the following video which visualizes my last project’s repository activity.

Pretty neat, isn’t it? To do this yourself, install Gource and create a log which contains all necessary information (not necessary for every VCS, refer to the wiki for additional information).

svn log -r 1:HEAD \
    trunk branches \
    --xml \
    --verbose \
    --quiet > my-project-log.xml

Now, to test this and simply show the video, execute the following command and tinker with it.

gource my-project-log.xml \
    --highlight-all-users \            # always show user names
    --colour-images \                  # colourize users
    --seconds-per-day 2 \              # seconds spent for each day
    --hide filenames,progress,mouse \  # hide certain elements
    --key \                            # show a list with all file types
    --title "Some title" \             # title which is shown in the bottom
    --multi-sampling \                 # anti aliasing
    -1920x1080 \                       # output resolution
    --date-format "%Y-%m-%d" \         # date format
    --file-idle-time 0                 # how long files should be shown.
                                       # 0 means "show always"

At last, create a video! The project’s wiki contains some useful guidelines. I used the following command to create the video that you (hopefully) just saw (I removed any unnecessary Gource command line options for clarity).

gource my-project-log.xml -o - | ffmpeg \
    -y \
    -r 60 \
    -f image2pipe \
    -vcodec ppm \
    -i - \
    -vcodec libvpx \
    -b 10000K \

I hope this worked out for you. Please leave a comment with a link to your video should you stumble upon this.

That's me, Ben.
Hey, I am Ben Ripkens (bripkens) and this is my blog. I live in Düsseldorf (Germany) and I am employed by the codecentric AG as a Software Engineer. Web application frontends are my main area of expertise, but you may also find some other interesting articles on this blog.