Tracking Code Histories

  • Sep 21, 2012

I've been playing a supporting role in the papers that went out this week. And, in the semi-calm after the storm starting to consider what the next thing to tackle should be. I am currently leaning towards trying to re-open the can of worms that is tracking where a given block/line/bit of code came from. Michael did some great thinking about this over the summer to lay out all of the cases. We're now getting to the point where an awful lot of things seem like they'd like to touch this info:

  • The badges have an explicit division between remixed and from scratch versions; as such many of the badge tests want to track this.
  • Some of the potentially interesting ways to navigate through the history of a project depend on knowing the origins of all of the code.
  • For the mentoring work, we probably want to react differently to results based on whether they've been remixed or created from scratch.

And more broadly than all of that, it will allow us to start looking at some really interesting historical information about how things are created, how different ideas and skills spread, how the community will use all of the shared-code resources they have access to. 

At basically any point in time, it feels as though there are a thousand things that need to be created/fixed/improved. So, I'm not entirely sure that this is where I'll settle. But right now, it feels like a problem someone needs to solve in the relatively near future for us all to continue making progress.


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