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How we’re different from Ohloh

by Asheesh November 17th, 2009

OpenHatch is an open source involvement engine, a different sort of open source contributor network. We’re happy to be in a web with a growing number of sites targeted at the Free Software community, Ohloh being one of the most well-known. Here are a few things that set us apart from Ohloh:

Automatically import your contributions

If you tell OpenHatch a username or email address you’ve used to commit to an open source code repository, we’ll do our best to get information about what projects you have contributed to. (You can read more about how the importer works.) We provide this on top of the Ohloh API, but even Ohloh’s website doesn’t let you simply search for your committer username.

Be proud of all your contributions

OpenHatch lets you showcase your work even if your name isn’t in the version history. Patches, translations, and documentation you’ve authored are often stored in the repository under the name of the person who committed them. This means many metrics providers, like Ohloh right now, don’t count you as contributing to projects where you don’t have commit access. By contrast, our profile engine lets you add links to contributions beyond just what the repository stores.

Most people who provide translations and documentation do not have commit access. Their efforts are entirely missed by repository analysis. We believe these people are part of the community, and this is reflected in how we built the system.

Your OpenHatch profile can include all the ways you’ve contributed. If your contribution was not automatically imported, just click “Add a project”, then “Add link”!

Find new things to work on

Ever get burned out working on the same project all the time? We offer a bug search engine we call the volunteer opportunity finder. You can search by programming language or by keyword. We highlight bugs that have been marked by their projects as “bite-sized”, i.e., good for newcomers.

I hope experienced and new contributors will find this useful.

People first

Every person you see listed is someone who has signed into OpenHatch, never an anonymous identifier. As you click on someone’s personal information, you find more people like him or her. In your profile, we showcase your collaborators alongside your contributions. These features remind me that Free Software is not about territoriality but about collaboration.

Even for projects where I’ve made just a small difference, it’s nice to realize that I’m part of a team. And what a pleasant surprise it is when a friend appears in the list!

By helping people find each other, we’re also looking forward to helping foster mentoring relationships between participants in the community.

By contrast, Ohloh is a primarily a directory of projects and a provider of code analysis tools. Their code history analysis is best-in-class, and that is where their focus lies.

Hack our source, file bugs, and chat on IRC

You already have an account

Because we use OpenID, you don’t have to sign up for an account with us to get started. Just click on an account provider you already use (or the OpenID logo, for a custom URL) and log in.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to sign in and get started!