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Career update: Director Security Services at Acquia

I recently accepted a position as an employee at Acquia. I have been "my own boss" since about 2006. I had a brief stint as a part-time employee at a company that has now ceased operations, but for the most part I've been the "owner" of GVS.

Thoughts on GVS

I founded GVS with a few goals. I wanted a company that mirrored open source values of do-ocracy and collaborative decision making. In part this was to make it easy for us to hire community rock-stars and have them feel right at home. In reality that didn't work perfectly though it worked pretty darn well. In part this was because I don't really like being a "manager" and wanted to have an empowered independent team. That mostly worked :)

GVS has had a ton of amazing clients and projects. Some of my personal highlights I'm most proud of are the work on, California Closets, and the Drupalcon Chicago site which really helped push forward the COD platform. Not everything turned out perfectly. We had our fair share of mistakes but I think in the end we at least were honest and did our best to deliver what we promised and what the client wanted.

One of the real highlights was that working at GVS allowed me to take a 9 month long trip through Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru with my wonderful wife. We visited 30+ wineries, drastically improved our Spanish, and had an amazing time. I've asked every employer I worked for to support me in doing that and none really did. Working for myself I could do that. Of course, it was a lot of work to make that a reality. I had to be aggressive about accepting certain clients that would be flexible with me while I was abroad and on flakey internet connections. I also used that time strategically by investing much more than normal in my community work which has had long term marketing benefits.

People Involved: 

Drupal: Accessible CMS - WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0 Compliant

So, I'm a Drupal fanboy. Naturally. But there's been some amazing work recently by the Drupal Accessibility Team that I wanted to highlight.

Accessible CMS: Drupal!

According to Drupal's Statement on Accessibility:

People Involved: 

Contributors for Drupal 7 - Final Numbers*

Well, here we are. Drupal 7's release is imminent and once again here are some statistics for folks to review. This is a truly amazing feat: over 950 people were credited in the commit messages as a contributor to Drupal 7. There were, of course, several thousand people involved in the issue queue but a mention in the commit message is reserved for people who did a serious amount of work whether that was writing code, design, reviewing, creating tests, writing text (i.e. documentation), or some other form.

Analysis of the Drupal Commit Data

Here are some items I noticed.

  • There were 954 people mentioned.
  • A total of 10,091 mentions in 6,117 patches means that there were about 1.6 people per patch
  • The top 10 people were mentioned in 30% of the commits
  • The top 20% were mentioned in 85%
  • People with 3 or fewer mentions form a group that are responsible for almost 10% of the mentions; we can't discount that long tail!

If we group people together into 9 somewhat logical groupings we can see this classic distribution.

Mentions People at that level
1 435
2 144
3 71
5 89
8 65
14 50
23 40
56 40
213 20

You can get the file as an spreadsheet (.ods) or from Google docs

The top 10 Drupal 7 Contributors (as measured by this method)

Name Mentions
sun 506
catch 403
damien tournoud 398
chx 324
yched 290
jhodgdon 278
david_rothstein 269
dave reid 231
pwolanin 215
c960657 151
People Involved: 

Contributors to CVS since 2000

One measure of the momentum of the fine Drupal project is the number of people who are creating contributed modules on

The Drupal contributed projects are stored in a system called CVS and data about that is stored in some database tables that keep track of each change by each person. At the request of some fine folks who are working on important things, I got interested in the idea of the trend related to people committing code to the CVS server. Here is the data graphed by the number of committers per month. It is not the number of commits, which would show how active those people are, but the number of people which shows how big of a group of people is doing this work.

Also, this is only about the contributed module and theme area and not about Drupal core. Drupal core commits are done by a very small group of people after that small group reviews the code contributed by hundreds of contributers. So, this really shows activity of the non-core projects.

Contributers to contributed module repository

I've labeled 4 points on the graph.

1. 2006 through Drupal 5.0 slump

Point 1 shows a peak at June of 2006 followed by a slow down until the trough at August of 2006 and then some small increases until December of 2006. Then there is a huge increase in people in January and February of 2007 which is also when Drupal 5.0 was released.

2. 2007 Follows a similar contribution trend

People Involved: 

Contributors to Drupal 7.x - End of Code Freeze Edition

Last week was the amazing Do It With Drupal conference and Angela Byron wanted some updated contributor statistics for her presentation. So, I analyzed the commit messages for Drupal core to find who has been helping out and once again the process and the data are getting better and better.

This time I'm using direct database information from the cvs commit log tables and using PHP to parse it which means that it's easier to create rules for fixing usernames or eliminating bad data. I also pulled in company information from to get a rough sense of which companies, as a group, are contributing the most to Drupal core. AND, thanks to Dreditor the commit messages are getting cleaner and include information about the person who has done reviews on patches.

Remember, none of this data is really perfectly accurate, but it gives us a tangible sense of what is going on.

Attached are a CSV file and an spreadsheet with the data. They show the uid of the user from, their name, their organization (if they specified one), the number of times they were mentioned as an author of a patch, the number of times they were mentioned as a reviewer of a patch, and the commit ID where they were mentioned. The commit ID is useful when chasing down bad data so that I can improve the parser. So, if you find a problem please let me know the CID value so I can improve the parser. There's a chance that this could eventually make it onto itself, but I'd like to improve the process first to understand whether or not that makes sense.

Enough with the process - it's time to name names!

Top 10 patch contributors to Drupal 7 core

Username Patches
catch 267
sun 238
damien tournoud 213
chx 159
yched 150
dave reid 145
pwolanin 141
boombatower 113
c960657 93
People Involved: 

Contributors to Drupal 7.x - Code Freeze Looming Update

The code freeze for Drupal 7.x is looming large on the horizon. From that point on we will be limited in what kinds of changes we can get into Drupal core. For some the code freeze is a time of relief: it means we are down to bug fixes and the final release should be coming soon. For others it is a hard time - bug fixing isn't always as fun as adding new features.

So, as we head into feature freeze it seemed like a good time to run some statistics on who has been contributing the most to Drupal 7.x so far.

Contributors to Drupal 7.x. Through August 10th

Following on from previous times that I've run these stats, I've published documentation of the process to get the data on This time I went straight to the commit messages stored in database tables on This has the benefit of counting new files as well as old files (the last times I did this it only counted changes to existing files).

So, who are the top 10 people based on the number of times their name is in a commit message?

Name Commit mentions
Damien Tournoud 192
catch 179
chx 123
pwolanin 113
Dave Reid 109
boombatower 95
yched 77
c960657 57
drewish 56
Berdir 56

The total number of mentions is 3133, so those top 10 are responsible for roughly 33% of the code. On the flip side, people with 3 or fewer mentions are responsible for roughly 15% of the code. We still have a long tail of 222 people who are mentioned in only one message. We see a fairly typical "long tail" distribution: the people who are most involved do a lot of the work, but the people who only get mentioned a few times each are still responsible for a large number of commits when aggregated together.

Commit mentions Count of people with that number
1 222
2 80
3 38
4 17
5 15
6 13
7 8
8 7
9 5
10 6
11 1
12 3
13 3
14 5
15 2
People Involved: 


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