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Some of you might remember PlotWeaver, an online software tool that creates visually similar looking depictions of time-varying interactions, such as the movie character interactions graph as depicted by the cool webcomic xkcd. Drawing inspiration from these movie narrative charts and the visual aesthetic of metro maps, the same author, Michael Ogawa, has now released StoryLines,
a new visualization technique for revealing the interactions between individual developers in software project evolution.

The raw input data originates from the version control systems of the software projects. Developers who are clustered together are placed in contiguous, adjacent lines, while the algorithm attempts to space apart all clusters from each other. In addition, existing tubes change their Y-position very little, while the occurrence of tube crossings is avoided as much as possible. Each developer tube is labeled with their repository user-name.

Dashed lines are used when a developer does not commit during a timestep, but resumes work in a future one. A 'commit histogram' shows the number of file-commits (the sum of files in each commit). Each bar is one timestep and is divided into user-defined color categories.

See also History Flow.

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2 COMMENTS

PlotWeaver is by Vadim Ogievetsky, and xkcd is by Randall Munroe. So I don't think you mean to say "the same author". Cool project nonetheless!

Fri 08 Oct 2010 at 4:20 AM

You are right. Thanks for letting us know/

Fri 08 Oct 2010 at 6:23 PM
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