Visualising drive-thru contributors?

Hey there, team!

I’m working on an article for FOSSlife, essentially converting my drive-thru contributors talk into an article. When I last did that talk (way back in 2017…wow, time flies), Cauldron wasn’t a thing. Now it is!

To be clear, here’s the explanation of drive-thru contributor that I’m using in the article:

When you go to a fast-food drive-thru, you show up, get what you need out of the transaction, and then leave to go about your life. The same is true of drive-thru contributors in FOSS projects. These people show up to the project, make a single contribution, and then leave, never to contribute there again. The majority of these contributions are “itch scratches”: the contributor has a bug they need fixed, a feature they need added, or just had a quick edit to make in the documentation. Once the contributor has solved their particular problem, they move on to continue what they were doing before.

It would be really helpful to be able to give people some really brief pointers on how to track/visualise this type of contributor using Cauldron. This has to be something Cauldron can do, right? I mean, it has all the data right there…but I don’t know how to do it. I suspect it might involve the Kibana stuff?

Anyway, I figured I’d ask the pros (that’s you) for a hand, because it’s gonna be a heckuva lot faster than my flailing at figuring it out myself. :slight_smile:

A snag: If I want to have a weekend (spoiler alert: I do), I need to get this article into my editor tomorrow (Friday, 23OCT). Because of course I’m doing this at the last minute. I’m only human. :woman_shrugging:

I plan to mention/link to Cauldron in the article regardless, but if you were able to give me some info about how to manage this exact task then I can include a screenshot as well.

What do you think? Can you help, given the short deadline? “No time now” is a totally valid answer, of course. I appreciate that I’m popping this on y’all at the last moment.


Hi, @vmbrasseur! Nice that you find the current Cauldron more interesting!

First of all, I take not of your metric. Quite interesting. We will think about implementing it (I’ve opened an issue report about it).

The problem for doing it in Kibana, is how the indexes are organized in Elastcsearch, and how Kibana can query them The closes thing I’ve been able of getting is a bar chart with contributions per authors, with those with one contribution first:

If you want to play with it in Cauldron, follow this path:

  • Create a project in Cauldron, with the repos you may want to explore
  • Click on your private workspace, where you can play with the data for it

Screenshot_2020-10-23 Level up Software Development Analytics - Cauldron

  • Once you are in Kibana, click on the “Visualize” icon, on the left bar

Screenshot_2020-10-23 Elastic Kibana(2)

  • Click on “Create visualization”
  • Select “Vertical Bar” (at the bottom of the list of visualizations)
  • In the next panel, select the source index (I suggest “git”, if you want to consider git commits as contributions)
  • Now you are presented with, on the left, a big green square (this will be the visualization) and, on the right, the configuration for the visualization:

Screenshot_2020-10-23 Elastic Kibana(3)

  • For “Metrics”, select “Y axis - Count” (which should be pre-selected.
  • For “Buckets”, select “Add” -> “X-Axis”, and when presented with new panel, select for “Aggregations” the option “Terms”:

  • You’re almost there. For “Field” select “Author_id”, for “Order”, select “Ascending”, and for “Size”, 50 (or more that will be the maximum number of authors shown):

Screenshot_2020-10-23 Elastic Kibana(5)

  • Now, click on “Update”, and you’re done.

You can select different time periods (look for the calendar icon and “Show dates” on the top right). And of course, if you’re familiar with Kibana, you can include this visualization in a dashboard to combine it with other charts and selectors.

I’m sorry that we don’t have a simpler and more convenient way of doing this. But we will try to include it as one of the basic charts provided directly by the Cauldron. thanks a lot for the suggestion.

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This is a great start. Thank you, @jgbarah! I hope that some day it’s able to present the metric a bit more easily. It’s a really useful one. From the article:

This is where a metric of “number of drive-thru contributors” is a good proxy for the overall health of a project’s contribution process. In many ways, a drive-thru contribution can be seen ideal for an open source project. If a project is able to get dozens or even hundreds of new improvements and additions with minimal friction for project maintainers, not only does the project benefit from those improvements but its also ensured that its contribution process is effective. Any process that can support a swift and pleasant drive-thru contribution is also guaranteed to improve the experience of any new contributor who might happen by. This leads to a positive first impression of the project, increasing the chances of a new contributor wanting to repeat that experience and join the community. Over time, this builds into an overall positive reputation for the project, which itself can lead to more visitors, users, and contributors.

I only have 1000 words for the entire article, so I don’t think I’ll be able to cover all of the steps you’ve given me. :frowning: But I’ll definitely make sure to direct folks to Cauldron in a more general fashion. They can learn the details once they get to the website. :slight_smile:

Thank you for all of your help!

Thanks a lot to you. We definitely will tell you when we implement this metric.

Hey there, team!

Here’s that article I mentioned, just published today:

Cauldron gets a couple of paragraphs near the end.


Hi @vmbrasseur!

Thanks for sharing your work and highlighting Cauldron! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: