Even though the title might suggest we’re dealing with some sort of transformation, I’m not going to describe the process of morphing humans into flying insects. However, when I saw a demo video at https://gource.io/ my first thought was: “it looks like bees at work, collecting pollen from flowers".
Gource allows not only to watch but also record visual representation of actions performed on the git repository. Creators did not cease developing a simple toy that brings joy to eyes, but they decided to give users a vast array of settings. Some of them are rather for those who feel comfortable with console commands (full list available here: https://github.com/acaudwell/Gource), one can even generate customized logs, which are visualized then. Also, if you feel like twisting knobs a little harder, feel free to play with the code – it’s free software distributed under GNU General Public License.
For those who are interested in fireworks only, there’s a simple interface with interactive keyboard commands (full list available at git repo). But first, we need to install it.
Gource is available both for Windows and Linux (which I currently use and henceforth refer to). Installation is rather simple, instructions can be found in INSTALL file within the gource folder (after unpacking). After that, we can go to the project directory of choice, run terminal in it and type: gource -f
which will create a log of our repository and then begin to tell us the story of our (and most likely others) work. Here is the final image of the project I've been recently working on:
The reason it may look simple is that it is simple ;)
If you would like to see more impressive ‘nets’, go to gource.io and check demo video. What is nice about that visualizer is that it’s not just a time-lapse metaphor of git repo. As you can see, there is a precise date and time displayed at the top of the screen. When mouse- hover to the bottom, a progress bar appears, and you can jump to any moment of development. You may think: ‘meh’ but it doesn’t work like some ordinary rewind button, but rather like a scope that focuses on the development made that day/hour/minute/second.
The creator claims: “Gource includes built-in log generation support for Git, Mercurial, Bazaar and SVN. Gource can also parse logs produced by several third-party tools for CVS repositories”. So, if you work on a version control system other than popular Git, give it a try and share your thoughts in comments.
Another interesting piece of visualizer (recommended by Gource creator) is Logstalgia that represents website traffic. Perhaps it’ll land in another future blog post?