I read this paper yesterday called An Empirical Study on the Survival Rate of GitHub Projects by Adem Ait, Javier Luis Cánovas Izquierdo, and Jordi Cabot. This paper analyzes the activity and survival rate of over 1,100 open source projects hosted on GitHub across four popular ecosystems−npm, R, WordPress (Plugins), and Laravel. The goal is to understand how long these projects survive and what factors impact their lifespan. It was just what I needed because the last similar study covered in last week's newsletter (#51) was from 2015. 😬

Impact of non-coding contributors

"We believe it is important to study (and deploy) mechanisms that help these non-coding contributors to keep the project active. Either by becoming code contributors themselves, by positively influenc- ing code contributors or by making their life easier proactively helping in the detection, classification and prioritization of project tasks."

I think those are some fair points. With more and more IDEs accessing AI code assistants, non-code contributors could make somewhat of an impact by fixing low-hanging fruit i.e. fixing simple bugs.

"In fact, the probability of [a project] surviving longer than five years is less than 50%."

Overall I liked the paper. I'm thinking of inviting the authors on the Sustain podcast to talk more in-depth. Whatcha think [Richard]?

Issue 52 · FOSS project survival rates: the importance of non-coding contributions