At its core, open source is about collaboration. Whether it’s version control, licenses, or issue trackers—everything exists to support people working with each other. Open source embodies a model for people to work together, building something greater than they can create on their own.
Open source projects on GitHub come in all shapes and sizes, many are single-contributor ‘solo’ projects but others like Homebrew have upwards of 5000 contributors. What does open source look like at these different scales? Let’s look at the last 30 days of public activity on GitHub broken down by some key activity types:
For projects with just one contributor, pushes (in red) represent the vast majority of all activity. Some issues are being reported but overall it’s very much a solo endeavor. As the number of contributors increases however, the fraction of activity in conversational mediums increases rapidly. In fact, while the fraction of activity represented by people creating new pull requests and opening new issues remains relatively constant above ~100 total contributors, the level of activity in response to these events (issue comments, pull request review comments) continues to grow.
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