Introducing OSS Insight
Written by Janet Swift   
Wednesday, 19 April 2023

OSS Insight will tell you everything you ever wanted or needed to know about GitHub projects and developers. It is open source and its API is available to all.

ossinsifgt banner

OSS Insight, short for open source software insights, does what it  says on the tin - it visualizes what has happened and is happening on GitHub open source repos in rich detail. By an analysis of more than 5 billion GitHub events in real time it gives you historical, real-time, and custom open source insights. You can query any individual GitHub project or developer, you can compare two projects and you can browse through its ever-growing collection of insights that you might find interesting.

ossinsifgt collections

 

This video shows how OSS Insights might be used by a GitHub maintainer or by an individual GitHub contributor:

OSSInsight.io is powered by TiDB Cloud, a fully-managed database as a service which comes from PingCAP, the company behind OSS Insight.. If you want to run your own analytics and get your own insights, TiDB has a free sign-up to let you experiment and provides a 10-minute tutorial. To further help you the SQL is provided for the charts already in its Collections:

ossinsifgt SQL

OSS Insight also provides a live overview of what is happening on GitHub in a list of real-time pull requests which can be filtered by programming language and keyword. As well as reporting the number of developers engaged on projects in 2023 and the number of repos, it maintains a counter of the number of Opened/Merged/Closed pull requests. This is accompanied by visualization depicting a grid of buildings 7 by 52 under construction as blocks fall from the sky.

ossinsifgt demo

OSS Insight is a highly polished tool and it is one that you can use in your own applications using its API. As it is open source you can also contribute to its features. Something else that I found impressive was the timeframe in which the original version was produced.

According to the blog post Build a Better GitHub Insight Tool in a Week? A True Story, PingCAP's co-founder and CEO Max Liu asked Wink Yao and his team to build "a small tool to help us understand all the open-source projects on GitHub" whose API could be made available to help open source developers build better insights. The problem with the request was the corollary:

"You've only got one week."

Yao explains in the blog post how the team succeeded in this challenge by combining the data from the GH Archive and the GitHub event API and using TiDB, the company's own database for the infrastructure. To save time the website used Docusaurus, an open source static site generator in React with scalability, rather than building a site from scratch. Apache Echarts was used to turn analytical results into good-looking and easy-to-understand charts. 

OSS Insight was officially released on May 3, 2022, but despite the fact it received a lot of positive feedback, it took until this week for it to come to our attention when a post made it to the Top 10 on Hacker News.

 

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More Information

OSS Insight

ossinsight on Github

TiDB Cloud

PingCAP

Build a Better GitHub Insight Tool in a Week? A True Story

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 April 2023 )