My girlfriend is currently working on her master’s thesis, which is, in parts, about Open Source software projects. Recently, we were discussing the typical distribution of people’s level of involvement. Of course, I was interested how this looks for GNU Radio.

I would say that with GNU Radio we can distinguish between technical code contributions and community support. Since, there aren’t a lot of non-technical, documentation-only changes in git, I think that the git history might be a good indicator for technical involvement.

Summarizing the commits for 2015 with

git shortlog -sn --no-merges --after 2015-01-01 origin/next | tr '\t' ','


and plotting the Top 20, we get the following distribution.

Note, that Tom has so many commits even excluding merges.

Regarding community support, the mailing list might be a good starting point. On the list, people mainly provide help with GNU Radio, out-of-tree modules, and radio in general. Discussions about implementation details of GNU Radio are very seldom, i.e., it’s a typical user mailing list.

Copying the mails from 2015 in a maildir folder and running

#!/usr/bin/env python

import mailbox


Using vim to reduce the entries to email addresses and counting occurrences with uniq -c I got