code_swarm – visualizing the life of open source

code_swarm was created by Michael Ogawa with Processing.

This visualization, called code_swarm, shows the history of commits in a software project. A commit happens when a developer makes changes to the code or documents and transfers them into the central project repository. Both developers and files are represented as moving elements. When a developer commits a file, it lights up and flies towards that developer. Files are colored according to their purpose, such as whether they are source code or a document. If files or developers have not been active for a while, they will fade away. A histogram at the bottom keeps a reminder of what has come before.

(thanks to Todd Ogasawara for pointing this out!)

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  • Truly fascinating.

  • Oh wow! This looks fantastic. Very nice video!

  • Roger Lancefield

    It’s particularly fascinating to see the explosion of popularity in mid-2000. Did that sudden surge of activity correspond to a particular event, or was it just a case of the project reaching critical mass, so to speak?

    Any Python historians out there to enlighten those of us unfamiliar with the story?

  • amk

    The Python CVS tree was moved from an internal server to SourceForge in May 2000.

  • wow great design! Nice Idea.

  • i’d like to see the *actual code* visualized as it runs. visually, showing what’s sucking up the most resources, who wrote it, and what it is doing.