Tuesday, 1 January 2013


I have used the Gource tool for a few years now to produce visualisations of project history. The results are pretty but not especially informative and mainly serve to show how well maintained a projects revision control history is.

The results do however provide something pretty to put on projectors and screens at shows when there is nothing better to be displayed.

Recently I noticed the Gource tool got updated and I decided to compile it and give it a try. After the usual building of the dependencies (including all of libboost!) the new version (0.38) gives much better results than the previous edition I had been using (0.27).

I tested it on the NetSurf git repository generating an overview for the whole ten years the project has been running which produced a six minute video which I shall be using on the NetSurf stand at our next show.

Overall if you need a historical visualisation of your projects revision history Gource is a pretty good tool. I have also used the alternative "code swarm" tool in the past but that seems to have bitrotted to death so I cannot recommend it.


  1. Can Gourse do multi-repository stuff, since that vid you did was only the netsurf.git repo and none of the libs.

  2. unfortunately not, unless you manually write a repository log merge tool.

    Gource itself is actually not much more than a log file visualisation with convenient log generation integration for git, svn and hg.

    I used to do a svn->git repo conversion for NetSurf specifically leaving out everything I did not want Gource to precess!

  3. Get me a data format spec and I'll see what I can do :-)

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  5. In our company where i work 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 projectread more

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