articles tagged with gource

FAQtory update

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Its been a while since I mentioned anything about the FAQtory app. Rest assured that, along with Bugle it’s been keeping me busy in my spare time!

To re-cap quickly, the FAQtory (pronounced Factory) is a simplified stackoverflow-like question and answer app. It allows you to Ask and Answer questions on any topic you like. The app is entirely content-focused and deliberately simple. A simple user voting mechanism ensures the most popular questions and most correct answers filter to the top.

Looking at the logs, it was last August when I kicked off the very first commit. After almost a year of on-again, off-again work and long periods of inactivity, last week finally saw it launch! In its current form the FAQtory is deployed for a single account, ( – you can take a look here. Over time PMfaqtory intend to use FAQtory to build a resource of project management questions and answers.

This is a big milestone for me and with all features locked down for launch, I can concentrate on preparing for a general release. This will involve adding an account model, pricing options and payment gateway integration. I’ll also be moving the app to a new server stack and cloud based host.

Over the coming weeks I hope to talk more about some the design and technology decisions I have made so far. For a bit of fun, here is a replay of the Git log using the latest Gource visualisation engine (now with added ‘Bloom’ effect!)

music is 'Penguin' by the Books

Gource is now available on Mac Ports which is a much easier install than it used to be (again, compiling from source stills give errors on FTGL)

Gource on OSX (Snow Leopard)


Some months ago I played around with code_swarm by Michael Ogawa – partly for fun and partly to see what all the fuss was about with the Processing framework (something I have yet to really investigate). Last week I came across Gource another source code visualisation tool this time using 3D rendering.

Software projects are displayed by Gource as an animated tree with the root directory of the project at its centre. Directories appear as branches with files as leaves. Developers can be seen working on the tree at the times they contributed to the project.

Some recent commits to the project fixed build issues on OSX. Despite these fixes I still had trouble compiling. So in summary here’s what I did to get it working. Note that I did resort to installing mac ports (something I’d rather NOT do) – after many attempts to download and manually compile the prerequisites (FTGL 2.1.3~rc5-2 kept giving me problems)

# get mac ports

# get all the ports you need for gource
sudo port install pcre libsdl libsdl_image ftgl

# get and build Gource from github and follow the instructions in INSTALL
git clone git://
cd Gource
autoreconf -f -i
./configure && make && sudo make install

# navigate to your project directory and type;

# have a look at all the options
man gource

# here are the settings I used (to get a large user icon and change the speed/size
gource ./ -s 0.5 -b 000000 --user-image-dir ~/images/avatars/ --user-scale 2.0 -800x600

# video it in h264 using ffmpeg, first install ffmpeg via mac ports (with codecs)
sudo port install ffmpeg +gpl +lame +x264 +xvid

# pipe PPM images to ffmpeg to generate a h264 encoded movie
gource ./ -s 0.5 -b 000000 --user-image-dir ~/images/avatars/ --user-scale 2.0 -800x600 --output-ppm-stream - | ffmpeg -y -b 3000K -r 60 -f image2pipe -vcodec ppm -i - -vcodec libx264 -vpre hq -crf 28 -threads 0 bugle.mp4

# finally, if you want to add some audio to the video (from an mp3)
ffmpeg -i audio.mp3 -i bugle.mp4 -vcodec libx264 -vpre hq -crf 28 -threads 0 bugle-with-audio.mp4
(this output will be the length of the video/audio track, whichever is longer)

# phew! - now go here to see how to remove macports when you're done :)

Bugle did exist (for a time) as an open source project on github before I moved it to be privately hosted. So here is the result; Bugle’s git log from April ’09 to the present parsed through Gource, with just one committer (me).

In summary you can see real bursts of activity at the start followed by some long periods of inactivity, and coming toward the present date renewed development and work going on. Gource is more impressive when visualising big projects with multiple committers over long periods, like the history of Git itself for example.

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