Writing an open-source contribution is difficult and time-consuming, but so is reviewing it and maintaining it. For this reason, contributing to open source is a two-sided investment decision. On the one hand, contributors invest their time and energy writing high-quality code and understanding how their submission fits in the storyline of the repo. On the other hand, maintainers allocate time and attention to review the PR and tacitly make a long-term commitment to look after the wellbeing of the contribution. When a PR is finally merged, the time and effort that was put into writing and reviewing it converts into exponential value for the authors, the reviewers, and the ecosystem!
Unfortunately, contributor stories does not always end in happy merges. The open source ecosystem is flooded with abandoned open issues and neglected pull-requests, which speaks about fundamental mismatches between repo's communities and aspiring contributors. We at Quine think this is mainly a data problem.
Would you invest time opening an issue if you knew the repo is abandoned? Is your community more unresponsive that the "other" competing repo?
To address these information asymmetries we built repo detail page, a statistical dashboard that helps contributors and maintainers understand the health of a repository at the community level. To start with, we created a response time graph that measures the (median) time it takes maintainers to respond to issues, and the time it takes for pull requests to be merged after being initially submitted. Your time is valuable, but so is the time of maintainers. Understanding the activity and responsiveness of the community you aspire to join can help you make an informed decision on where to invest your time and energy. For maintainers, the response time graph can help understand the internal dynamics of their community and provide a better contributor experience 🙂
Response time graphs are already available for the 90,000 most popular open source repositories on Github. To access them, signup here!