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Yet another list statistics for debian-project


as you can read in my lightning talk at DebConf


I did some investigation on who is frequently posting
on our mailing lists.  I now created graphs until
end of last year and write a short summary for
those lists I regard worth a comment.  I'm not
CCed to all of this list so if you want to discuss
something please keep me in CC.  If you want to
discuss the results in general just write to debian-project.

All graphs and the code that was used to create the
graphs are available at


If you are interested in a mailing list which was not
analysed, just tell me.  I was running the scripts on
those lists I personally had some interest and those
with more than 1000 subscribers.

I plan to clean up code and write some doc about it
but this will not happen in the next couple of weeks.

The graph for this specific list is

------- <start of mailing list specific part> ------

Well, the only comment for this list from me is: Happy new year. ;-)
But here are all comments I posted to the single other lists.

Three active developers. Seems to be a living project.
Samuel Thibault rocks!

Good luck for the future!

If the decreasing activity on this list is a sign that porting issues
on amd64 are basically solved I would call this a good sign.

It's nice to have Frans Pop and cudos also to Otavio Salvador
who becomes more and more involved.  But IMHO such an important
part of the Debian project needs definitely more activists.
Anybody willing to help?

2008 was a quiet year compared to 2006 and 2007.

Thanks for working in the ctte!

I'm really curious who Alexander Hvostov might be and if we
ever might have so many curiosa to discuss that somebody else
might take over his role he might have ironed out in the
curious year 2003. ;-)

According to the fact that I will ask for a debian-blends list I
guess I will loose my top poster position here sooner or later.
But it was fun with you guys anyway. ;-)

I wished this really cool project would gain more activists.

Anyway Daniel Baumann rocks!

Good luck for the future.

I really wished that this project would be able to gain more supporters
because it is the closest to my pet Debian Med project.  Just knowing
the fact that you can not count myself as a real project member because
my postings were rather concerned to general synergies with similar
projects (Blends or potential Blends) I see only four developers.
The fact that only two of them were active last year makes me a bad

I can only repeat my opinion that the key to success is better
project management and attracting more people by becoming more
popular.  You know I was and will be busy to write tools for
Debian Pure Blends that are intended to provide technical means
to supoprt this strategy.  Just start with using them.

I wish you really good luck for your project.  Please do not
hesitate a single minute to ask for help if you want to join
the Blends effort or if something might remain unclear in this

Enrico, I regard the project you initiated as *really* important
for Debian but please try to care for an activist who might take
over your leading role in case you might not find enough time
for Debtags any more.  Rather good news would be if the graph
does not reflect a lack of interest of people but the fact that
everything is sorted out on this front and there is nothing to
discuss any more ...

Thanks to Yves Alexis Perez and Fathi Boudra this project seems
to get new life.  I hope more people will join this effort.

Good luck!

Ten years of debian-devel-announce list might deserve some
statistics about the people behind this list.  For those
who only read a view Debian related mailing lists but are
interested in statistics like this I spammed a view of
these lists with my personal interpretation of the graph
of the list activists.  When doing the stats I realised
that the graph gives some clue about the projects behind
the mailing list and want to share this observation.

Miriam, you seem to leed a nice and busy team. Congratulations!

Have a nice play!

For me the most interesting thing in this graph is that most activists
have a wave like profile.  The activity increases and decreases at some
point.  We have lost some of the most active posters on the list and
none of them has reached the activity of "the early years".  I have no
idea whether there is a reasonable interpretation of this feature.

Anyway I think I use the chance to thank all those activists from
the years before 2000 because without their effort we would probably
not be where we are.  Their work made Debian attractive enough for
many others who took over now (at least the posting on the mailing
list job ;-)).

There is one single minute I remember most lively from DebConf 3 in
Oslo.  In the discussion after my CDD talk Petter Reinholdtsen told
me that Debian Edu is dead and I answered that SkoleLinux people
should take over.  Looking at this graph I'm *very* happy about
this advise.  I'm really, really happy about the development of
supporting education inside Debian and the huge success of Debian Edu.
Many thanks to all of you!

And please do not underestimate one small detail in the graph:
L. Redrejo shows up at the last position of the top ten poster but
he is a really important contributor and I take the bet that his
graph will grow over the years.  The connection between LinEx
to Debian Edu is another mile stone in the history of Debian Edu.
Cudos to all the brave Extremadura people who are doing a really
great job in supporting Debian!

Hmmm, two spammers in the top ten posters list where you can enter with
two postings???
We should either close this list or give it a real sense!

It seems many people left this project. :-(

I was not able to widstand and so I tried to compare the 'Christian Perrier'
posting daemon from i18n in 2008 with the 'Ian Jackson' posting daemon from
devel in 1996 (what else than daemons might produce so many mails?

# SELECT author, yearmonth, count(*) from listarchive where (author like 'Ian Jackson%' and project = 'devel' and EXTRACT(YEAR FROM yearmonth) = 1996 ) or (author = 'Christian Perrier' and project = 'i18n' and EXTRACT(YEAR FROM yearmonth) = 2008 ) group by author, yearmonth order by count desc;
      author       | yearmonth  | count 
 Ian Jackson       | 1996-04-01 |   216
 Christian Perrier | 2008-10-01 |   195
 Ian Jackson       | 1996-08-01 |   193
 Ian Jackson       | 1996-02-01 |   173
 Ian Jackson       | 1996-05-01 |   173
 Christian Perrier | 2008-06-01 |   159
 Ian Jackson       | 1996-01-01 |   147
 Ian Jackson       | 1996-03-01 |   146
 Christian Perrier | 2008-05-01 |   144
 Christian Perrier | 2008-04-01 |   139
 Christian Perrier | 2008-09-01 |   129
 Christian Perrier | 2008-07-01 |   118
 Christian Perrier | 2008-08-01 |    96
 Ian Jackson       | 1996-06-01 |    92
 Christian Perrier | 2008-03-01 |    89
 Christian Perrier | 2008-02-01 |    85
 Ian Jackson       | 1996-11-01 |    73
 Christian Perrier | 2008-01-01 |    59
 Ian Jackson       | 1996-09-01 |    51
 Ian Jackson       | 1996-10-01 |    39
 Christian Perrier | 2008-11-01 |    29
 Christian Perrier | 2008-12-01 |    16
 Ian Jackson       | 1996-12-01 |    14
(23 rows)

OK, finally the winner is

# SELECT author, sum(count) FROM (SELECT author, yearmonth, count(*) from listarchive where (author like 'Ian Jackson%' and project = 'devel' and EXTRACT(YEAR FROM yearmonth) = 1996 ) or (author = 'Christian Perrier' and project = 'i18n' and EXTRACT(YEAR FROM yearmonth) = 2008 ) group by author, yearmonth) AS tmp group by author;
      author       | sum  
 Ian Jackson       | 1317
 Christian Perrier | 1258
(2 Zeilen)

but Christian hey, start in January with some more mails and fight to the end
of the year (16 mails in December - that's nothing) and you will be Mr. Top
Poster!! ;-)

Ah well, for the others of this really important list: Hold on the good work.
Many non English speaker will be very happy about your work.

Comment: This analysis was to quick.  The overall statistics given on
debian-project says that Christian is only on rank 11 of the most
posting per project per year.  The final winner is  Michelle Konzack with
2745 postings on debian-user-german in 2004. ;-)

I wonder whether this wave-shaped pattern is a general feature
of many mailing list ...

This project was always a one-man-show (no, I do not really count,
I was just posting on behalf of synergies with other Blends).
Ben Armstrong.  In August last year Ben announced officially
that he is asking for adoption of the project because his time
is occupied by other things:


Nothing worth mentioning happened since then on this mailing list.

I would be really happy if somebody would take over Ben's hat
and revitalised this project.  I promise to give all help from
technical side of Blends.  I even adopted more or less the
junior meta packages.

If you are not sure what Debian Junior is you might like to have
a look at


If you are a developer and are willing to fix some bugs just
have a look to the bugs relevant for this project



Ups - is this project dying or has the list activity just moved
to an different mailing list???

Another poster who crossed the 1000 postings per year limit:

# SELECT author, sum(count) FROM (SELECT author, yearmonth, count(*) from listarchive where (author like 'Ian Jackson%' and project = 'devel' and EXTRACT(YEAR FROM yearmonth) = 1996 ) or (author = 'Christian Perrier' and project = 'i18n' and EXTRACT(YEAR FROM yearmonth) = 2008 ) or (author = 'Horms' and project = 'kernel' and EXTRACT(YEAR FROM yearmonth) = 2005 ) group by author, yearmonth) AS tmp group by author order by sum desc;
      author       | sum  
 Ian Jackson       | 1317
 Christian Perrier | 1258
 Horms             | 1156
(3 rows)

The good news is that after Horms vanished from this list Maximilian Attems
took over the very active role but somehow I feel that this list needs
more love.

Thanks for working on kernel issues!

It is really sad to see that in the last two years nobody really
seem to care about laptops in Debian. :-(

The quite often observed wave-shaped pattern and only a view
activists left to discuss legal problems.

The initiator of this list vanished (or at least did not showed
any activity any more) and I have the feeling that the try to
awake people on the list somehow failed.  I would love to welcome
jurists in the Debian Pure Blends effort but a lot of work has
to be done.  I do not really mean packaging work.  I think
much more important is to define a goal you want to approach
and then attract people who are obliged to this goal.

I'd like to use this chance to say thanks to all people who spended
their time on Debian Med which somehow started as kind of a pet of
mine but obviosely gained more and more important contributors since
2005.  My special thanks goes to

   Charles Plessy, who might be able to completely take over the
                   role I played for the project if needed which
                   is besides his high competence in biology the
                   most important thing: Doing strategical project
   Davi Paleino, for his very good work for the web pages, policy
                 documents and care for the SVN repository.  His
                 ideas and work gave a new kick for my technical
                 work for Blends
   Nelson A. de Oliveira and
   Steffen Moeller    who are also comming from the biological
                      "fraction" and I remember them very clearly
                      when first Steffen and a bit later Nelson
                      joined the project and took the first
                      valuable amounts of work from my shoulders
   Michael Hanke for his work on medical imaging which added a
                 new field of competence into our crew
   Daniel Leidert from DebiChem who on the one hand has common
                  interest in some packages but was always helpful
                  when it cames to technical packaging details.
                  It was more than one time when he saved serious
                  amounts of my time when it came to autoconf stuff
   Karsten Hilbert for his observation of Debian Med rather as a
                   "user" (well he is the main GNUmed developer, but
                   he just uses Debian Med in a way and provides
                   interesting practical knowledge.  Somehow
                   also Elizabeth Barham in a similar position (but
                   I'm not sure whether she is reading the list any
                   more which would be the only loss of activists
                   which is not normal according to my mailing list

   and not to forget:

   Mathieu Malaterre who was not even amongst the top ten posters
                     when I startet graphing the activity for my talk
                     at Debconf (for the record you might look at
                     http://people.debian.org/~tille/talks/200808_med/debian-med.pdf )
                     Mathieu has obviosely a great insight into medical
                     imaging and I'm really happy that he joined our
                     team.  Welcome Mathieu!

Finally speeking about the status of August 2008 when

   Tobias Toedter was at position 10 in this list: Tobias (now known as
                  Tobias Quathamer) is one of our "real" doctors, has
                  done a reliable job for our web presentation under
                  www.debian.org and is now a Debian developer himself.
                  Tobias did the first steps for some structured way to
                  publish our packages and he also deserves an explicite

Last but not least

   Frédéric Hébert who dedicated the computer which calculated all these
                   graphs. :-)

So thank you all - also those who are not mentioned explicitely for your
fine work!

Guessing from the graph this is a nice list with very active mentors
(guessing that people who are frequently posting are mentoring instead
or asking questions to mentors ;-)).

Keep on the good work!

It's nice to see that there is an active team working on
multimedia issues in Debian.

Good luck.

Normally I removed postings from robots or generic addresses.
In this case I just left NM Front Desk because I consider it
a good sign that this poster is really constant over the
last years.

This is the graph of an obviosely dying list which recives
the last postings only to decide that the list can be closed.
While it was close to debian-med, debian-edu and debian-jr
in the early days of CDD (now Blends) IMHO it shows similar
features like debian-lex:

There was a lack of strategical work and the people missed
to define a goal they want to approach and then attract
people who are obliged to this goal.

Rene, please try to form a real team around Openoffice!!!

Great to see a solidly growing and solid team.


While the project started very active in 2005 and 2006 the graph
shows a decreasing activity.  Make sure you will not lose more
activists.  My advise would be to join the Debian Pure Blends
effort because this provides technical means to "visualise" your
work.  Visibility attracts people.  Just talk to me if I can help!

Three to four activists with a tendency of growing activity and no loss of developers.
Seems to be a healthy project.

Good luck for the future!

Thanks to Manoj Srivastava for his constant care for the policy
over all the years.  Just looking at all the graphs of lists I have
never observed a poster who constantly and reliable was active
over so many years with nearly the same order of magnitude of

While the list activity is not really growing it looks solid
since the problems from 2004 and 2005 werde obviosely solved.

QA is like cleaning up behind people.  It is nice that there
are always people who do this work - some more active people
might not harm anyway.

The release team has obviosely managed to strengthen
their team.  Looks like really good teamwork for
an very important job.  Thanks for your fine work and
let Lenny be the greatest release! ;-)

Even if I'm the top poster on this list I do not intend to
manage Debian Science.  I'd rather want it to be closely
connected to the Debian Pure Blends effort.  This effort
got some nice and inspiring ideas out of the Debian Science
group and I'm lucky to see that there is a solid base of
activists here.

Good luck for the future.

Ups, the graph becomes quite sparse in the last years.  I can
not really imagine that the reason should be that our software
became more secure.  Is anybody out there who has an explanation
which does not come to the conclusion that we immediately should
try to strengthen this team?

The traffic statistic is consistent with the activists graph:


It seems this list needs some new live ...

Sorry for the English posting - I hope you are interested
in the graph.

Finally Andreas Pakulat found the cron daemon who posted 10
mails per day. ;-)

Sorry for the English posting - I hope you are interested
in the graph.

Sorry for the English posting - I hope you are interested
in the graph.

Who are the Johnson brothers??? ;-)

Here we can see the active voting years ...

While Josip Rodin was very active on this list he failed
in finding a new activist after he became quiet since 2003.
Frank Lichtenheld and Matt Kraai tried to fullfill this role
but it seems we need more power in this team.

Hope you get more activists soon!

Good to see that the Branden-Robinson-List turned into a
real team list.

Kind regards



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