Fun with graphs

For awhile now, I’ve felt like the ubuntu-motu mailing list has been a shadow of its former self. It turns out that empirical data backs up this feeling. I produced a histogram of mailinglist volume over time:


I also figured I should take a look at ubuntu-devel:


That graph raises the question what happened at the end of 2006. Of course, that was when ubuntu-devel-discuss was started:


I’m not sure what this all means, but I do find it interesting in the context of some recent discussion on the direction of the Ubuntu community.

You can find the python code I used in a GitHub gist. It takes an mbox file and produces a histogram using matplotlib. It is shamelessly based off of code by Takafumi Arakaki that was designed to plot a histogram of the commit frequency of a Mercurial or Git repository by reading newline separated unix time via STDIN. I just rewrote the read_dates() function. If someone has a simpler way of doing the date conversion, I’d love to see it. What I did was a bit convoluted.

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