Using Gource to visualize activity on a git repository

Published on October 11, 2020

Tagged: #developer-experience #management

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At the end of a project or when a person is leaving a team or project, it’s nice to show the impact that they had on the software visually. Git has some built in statistics that will show you tables listing additions and deletions, commit counts and that kind of thing. But you can use gource to create a cool time series visualisation showing the changes over time.

It’s well worth checking out this tool.

Installing gource

Gource is free! So you just need to install using a package manager. On Mac you can use this.

brew install gource

Running a visualisation

You need to change to root of the git repository and then run the command. The gource help has details on all the various options.

For showing everyone’s impact over time for a 6 month project with 10 team members I found that this command worked best for me

gource --highlight-users -s 1 -f --hide filenames

Screenshot of result

The video is way cooler but here is a screenshot from the visualisation for my blog as an example

screenshot of visualisation
screenshot of visualisation

You can see all the command line options on the readme in the repo: https://github.com/acaudwell/Gource

Darragh ORiordan

Hi! I'm Darragh ORiordan.

I live and work in Sydney, Australia building supporting happy teams that create high quality software for the web.

I also make tools for busy developers. Have you ever spent a week getting your dev environment just right?

My DevShell tooling will save you 30+ hours configuring your dev environment with all the best modern tools. Get it here

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