OpenBSD in decline?


My leisurely Sunday activity today is to set up a new OpenBSD firewall for my mobile app testing lab. I haven't done a from-scratch OpenBSD install for years, so I spent some time reading through the change logs for the last few versions to catch up with what's changed. Although the project is clearly still making steady, well-engineered progress, I had the nagging feeling that the rate of change wasn't what it used to be. So, I pulled some numbers from CVS commit message list archives, and graphed them. Here are the number of commits per month from January 2001 to January 2012. The orange line is a simple 12-month moving average:

Now, we should be cautious about interpreting this - the number of commits doesn't tell us anything about the quality, importance or magnitude of code change. Even if it did all of these things, there are other and perhaps better measures of a project's health. Still, the trend is clear, and suggests a sustained decline in activity.

I just bought some T-shirts to help support one of my favourite open source projects. You should too.