Developers already instinctively think of GitHub as the default landing pad for code they wish to share with the rest of the world. GitHub has displayed a few metrics to show how much other developers like the code, but apparently those aren’t enough.
The company now displays web traffic and sources of that attention for individual repositories. GitHub announced the new feature in a blog post today.
The new data is visible to the people who own or push to individual repositories, GitHub’s Justin Palmer wrote in the blog post.
And these people can already track how many times the code has been “starred” and “forked” — to keep track of interesting projects and to use the code as the starting point for new code, for those uninitiated in GitHub speak.
The new data offers a less GitHub-specific way of showing developers which of their projects draw interest. And it could help engineering executives see which of their engineers’ projects are compelling to a wider community.
But the thing is, as of today, you can’t export new data nor the forking and starring data as a spreadsheet file. You can’t tag repositories for analysis inside of Google Analytics, either. Such a lack of support for other programs prevents companies from being able to run additional analysis, which could be useful for, say, figuring out the value of certain engineering hires.
GitHub could certainly go ahead and add this sort of functionality. But for now, the company is moving in a wise direction — offering more data for analysis rather than less.