articles tagged with visualisation

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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