Social code project resume networking with Ohloh

Ohloh is a site I've bumped into before, but never really explored it or created an account. Today I signed up and tried it out, and I'm very glad I did. Project tracking meets resume building meets social networking--I've originated or contributed to quite a few open source projects, and this site gives me an easy overview of the work I've done, what languages I've used, and who else is contributing to or using my software.

I think one of the coolest features is the automatic code analysis; if you tell Ohloh where to find your project's source code, it'll automatically fetch the code and spit out some nice charts showing the percentages of each language used, how many of those lines are comments, and how the code distribution has changed over time. For example, did you know that Firefox has more than 50% JavaScript, or that PHP includes only about 18% PHP? It's interesting, though may not be very reliable. One of my projects, tovid, is reported to have only 636 lines of shell script, when it's actually over 10,000 lines, so you should probably take their metrics with a salt lick.

The profile page is pretty sweet--I can see all my projects at a glance, or view all of a project's contributors. Projects can be tagged with keywords--the tagging interface is great, allowing quick and easy selection of additional tags from similarly-tagged projects. Another nifty though somewhat dubious feature is the "Project cost" box, which gives an estimate of how much it would cost to develop the project from scratch, using something called the COCOMO model. The things I've been working on lately total to about $42,000. Of course this model can't possibly be estimating code quality or utility, or indeed whether anyone would actually pay that kind of money, but it's a great little ego boost.

You can create "stacks" of software in your profile by selecting existing projects that you use. When you do this, you'll see a list of other users who have similar choices in their stacks; this also enables the familiar "people who use this also use ..." on each project's page, which could help you discover new software that you might like. Since most of my projects are relatively recent, there isn't much to see yet as far as who uses the software or whether they like it. I'm looking forward to seeing that info as it comes in. Overall, I've gotta say this is a well-designed and useful site, and it's definitely going to stay bookmarked for a while.


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