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Tue, 10 Aug 2010

Playing further with numbers

If I count correctly, Christan's first statistic listed exactly 990 active accounts. The new one just 873. That's a difference of 117. Which is by coincidence exactly the number of active Debian Maintainers (people with limited upload rights, who don't have an account on our servers).

So an other argument, that we don't need to worry. What we seem to have lost, we gained through other ways ;)

postet at 16:52 into [Debian] permanent link

How an "active" developer is defined

Apparently some people misunderstood Christian's recent statistics how Debian Developers are distributed over countries a bit. Especially the the sentence We now have 62% of active DDs while we had 73% last year. is kind of misleading, if you don't know how an active developer is defined. And especially, if you ignore the following sentence: This year's campaign of MIA work has been somehow "successful", apparently

So, let's start with the active developers. To be precise: Neither Christian (nor did I back then) tried in any way to decide which developer is active, in the meaning of: He is actively contributing to Debian. That's pretty difficult data to get. Instead we just took the data available, and looked for activated accounts. And that's an important difference.

See, if an Debian Developer leaves the project, his account doesn't get deleted (for various reasons), it just gets deactivated in our central account setup. So, when Christian wrote, he counted active developers he basically said: I didn't counted the deactivated accounts.

So far so good. But indeed quite a lot accounts got disabled last year. Is that a bad sign (as some journalist say)? Actually no. As it's quite complex to check, who's still using his account (see for some explanation), it is quite possible for someone to still have his account active, who isn't using it. During the last year many of these Karteileichen (nominal members, if you will) have been deactivated (after being pinged several times).

Or, to write it this way: While indeed quite some accounts have been disabled, Debian hasn't lost much through at, as these account's weren't used!

postet at 15:50 into [Debian] permanent link


Alexander Tolimar Reichle-Schmehl lives in Tuttlingen / Germany. He works as IT manager (specialized on Unix and SAN/Storage) for an international automotive supplier.