Bootstrap Gets its Open Source Dashboard


tenXer is releasing a series of public dashboards for open source projects to help expose the metrics that give insight into the performance of open source projects. Today, we are releasing Bootstrap!


Instead of a head to head challenge like we have done in the past, we decided to look at Bootstrap by itself. Bootstrap has been one of the most active open source projects on GitHub for the last few years. We wanted to focus on what the metrics might indicate for a high activity project like Bootstrap. As usual, we combined all the repositories of Bootstrap and looked at the metrics for the project as a whole and also created a tenXer open source dashboard for it.


Everyone loves to see how much activity is going on and the raw output of those actions. A good metric to look at for that is the number of commits. Although Bootstrap has a lot of activity, the number of commits was not as high as we expected.

Quantity:  On average for the past 12 months, Bootstrap had 361 commits per month. If you remove June and July of this year, where there were large spikes, the average number of commits drops down to 242.

Past 12 Months Past 8 Weeks
Bootstrap-Commits-12-mo Bootstrap-Commit-8-week

Consistency:  From November 2012 to May 2013, Bootstrap was a model of consistency. For that period, there was an average of 239 commits per month. The standard deviation on commits was only 18! After May however, things changed. June shot up to 648 and July to 1,258. Of course the increase in activity is good news. The thing to focus on is how does activity change after the spike and Bootstrap looks pretty good. It had 279 commits, which was above its average before the spike.

Contributors: Being a popular open source project, Bootstrap has a lot of contributors. In fact for the past 12 months it had 1,404 contributors. However, like most open source projects, the majority of the commits came from a small number of people. In fact, the top 3 contributors to Bootstrap made up over 81% of the commits. The next 20 most prolific contributors made up an additional 9.6% leaving only 9% for the rest.


Keeping the Code Base Clean

For open source projects, it’s important that people are trying to keep the code base from exploding. The more lines of code that are useless, the harder it is for someone to update the project. It’s also much harder to review pull requests, more on that later.

Net Lines: For a large project, Bootstrap is pretty good. Over the last 8 weeks, Bootstrap netted only 2,251 lines of code. In fact, for the past 8 weeks, Bootstrap has deleted 1 line of code for every 2 lines of code added. Not too shabby.

Net Lines Distribution of Lines Added and Deleted
Bootstrap-Net-Lines-8-week Bootstrap-Distribution-Net-Lines

Commit Size: Keeping commits small helps people review your pull request faster. It helps the maintainers respond to a greater number pull requests in a faster fashion. We looked at the last ten commits for Bootstrap and the average size was a mind blowing 3.2 lines of code per commit. We looked at the past year and while the number jumps to 195 lines per commit, that also includes a 12k line commit where a branch was merged.

Responsiveness to Contributors

In trying to determine whether to start to contribute to an open source project, developers often ask themselves, “Will my effort be wasted?” If the maintainers of the open source project hardly merge any pull requests, why bother investing the time? While this might be easy to judge for smaller projects, it’s harder for large projects like Bootstrap that need to deal with large volumes of pull requests being made. With more interest and more pull requests, the chances increase that more of the pull requests will be bad. With that said how did Bootstrap do?

Percent of Pull Requests Merged: For a project that gets more than 235 pull requests a month, Bootstrap didn’t do to poorly.  While a bit on the lower side of the projects we have looked at so far, it merged almost 32% of pull requests. Considering the size of the project and the limited number of maintainers, it seems to be a decent number.

Percent of Pull Requests Merged Average Hours Pull Requests Open
Bootstrap-Percent-Pull-Req-Merge-12-mo Bootstrap-Avg-Hours-Pull-Req-12-mo

Average Hours Pull Requests are Open: Looking at average hours a pull request are open gives an indication of how responsive the maintainers are. Timely feedback is important to keep the community engaged and also keeps pull requests from becoming outdated before they are reviewed.  Bootstrap took on average 266 hours to review a pull request or around 11 days. Not bad at all for a project getting so many pull requests.

How do you think Bootstrap did?

We have given you some the metrics and charts. Now we want to hear from you. How do you think Bootstrap has done? Leave a comment and let us know.

tenXer Open Source

Check out what other open source projects we support including AngularJS, CakePHP, Ember.js and Zend Framework. We will be adding more to the list on a regular basis so bookmark our page and come back often to see what new projects we have added to the list.  And don’t forget, you can get a dashboard and metrics like these for your team at tenXer! How do you think your team stacks up? Find out at tenXer!