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User Support System Analysis

Data that goes with "Understanding user support systems in open source", an analysis of user support systems in open source.

I used BigQuery’s GitHub data set to pull a list of top open source projects (public + OSS license detected) on GitHub, by most issues opened in the most recent year (8/29/17-8/29/18). Of these, I removed a bunch of noisy data to end up with a “top 100” list.

Some criteria for how I cleaned up the data:

  • Only looked at projects with >2 contributors
  • Only looked at software projects (not content)
  • Only looked at English-speaking projects, so I could understand them for the analysis
  • Archived repositories were removed
  • Mirrors of other issue trackers were removed
  • Junk repositories and personal projects were removed

After getting a top 100 list, I went through each project and collected data about their support systems. This information was collected and recorded between September 5th-10th, 2018.

Some information on criteria and caveats:

  • I only included a channel if the project officially named it as a support channel. Ex. A project might have a mailing list, but if it's used for general chatter, I didn't count it.
  • Dedicated security channels (like HackerOne, or an email address) weren't included, as they're a specialized form of support
  • An absolute count of support channels doesn't reflect the relative use and popularity of those channels. Ex. A project might list Stack Overflow and Gitter as channels, but hardly ever use the latter. I still counted both.
  • async_count includes gh_issues
  • mailing_list includes mailing list groups (like Google Groups and

Special thanks to Raúl Kripalani for the BigQuery help.

Feedback or questions can be directed to @nayafia


I don't plan to update or change this data set. If you'd like to add more data however, or if you spot any errors, feel free to open a pull request.

License and attribution

This data is available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 License, meaning you are free to use it for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, without any attribution back to me (public domain). If you do use it, I'd love to hear about it! (Find me here: @nayafia) But you are in no way required to do so.


User support data for the top 100 GitHub projects by issue volume




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