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StackOverflow and Github Visualized As Cities

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the have-your-neighbor-committed dept.

Social Networks 45

An anonymous reader writes "Ekisto is an interactive network visualization of three online communities: StackOverflow, Github and Friendfeed. Ekisto tries to map our online habitats using graph algorithms and the city as a metaphor. A graph layout algorithm arranges users in 2D space based on their similarity. Cosine similarity is computed based on the users' network (Friendfeed), collaborate, watch, fork and follow relationships (Github), or based on the tags of posts contributed by users (StackOverflow). The height of each user represents the normalized value of the user's Pagerank (Github, Friendfeed) or their reputation points (StackOverflow)."

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Uninteresting subjects (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45630713)

Much more interesting would be a visualization of jokes per over of this year's Ashes live coverage! [cricket.com.au]

Spoiler... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45630719)

Slashdot is Detroit.

Re:Spoiler... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45630765)

Impossible! Detroit is still full of gayniggers.

Re:Spoiler... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45631121)

I'd buy that. They both were once populated by people who built cars and car-based analogies but now they're ghettos full of karma whores and drive-by dupings.

No one cares about FriendFeed enough (2)

AnujMore (2009920) | about a year ago | (#45630735)

FriendFeed wasn't even mentioned in the headline.

Re:No one cares about FriendFeed enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45631673)

What the fuck is friend feed?

trendy hipster contest (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45630747)

Yes, let's make it even more obvious that GitHub is for trendy hipsters.

Why is that modded down? He's right... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45630933)

It's sad to see that fellow's comment has been modded down. It's spot-on correct.

GitHub and StackOverflow aren't about programming or software development. They're about egos. They're about hype-driven "community". They're the facilitators of a culture that belongs in a cesspool.

GitHub is very much about so-called hipsters trying to show off their latest JavaScript or Ruby crap. StackOverflow is where they try to boost their egos by accosting anyone who doesn't follow their ever-changing "best practices", many of which are absolutely idiotic.

They are completely different from the more traditional methods of open source or programmer collaboration, like mailing lists, SourceForge and USENET. There, the emphasis was never on collecting karma points or badges. It was never about trying to be the one to submit the most pull requests. It was never about conforming to the rotten San Francisco/Silicon Valley Mac-toting hipster culture.

We haven't seen any good software come out since the hipsters started getting involved with software development in the mid-2000s. In fact, we've seen several open source projects established before their arrival nearly completely destroyed by them. GNOME 3 is a great example of this, and Firefox is very close behind. Even commercial software has suffered. Just look at what has happened to Windows, for instance, thanks to the influence of these rancid individuals.

The technology landscape is absolutely horrible these days due to these people. JavaScript and Ruby make Java look fast and nimble! And their web apps are total shit compared to desktop apps. It's unfortunate that GitHub and StackOverflow have only helped encourage the spread of this hipster nonsense, and given it a false sense of legitimacy. The mistakes of these people will haunt our industry for decades to come.

Re:Why is that modded down? He's right... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45631009)

What? I participate in a couple systems-level code projects at Github and recognize none of your comments. Selection bias, perhaps.

Re:Why is that modded down? He's right... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45631065)

I so wish I had points to mod you up.

Re:Why is that modded down? He's right... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45631661)

Absolute crap - just because tools might get used in ways you don't like doesn't make them inherently bad - that goes for languages and websites alike.

Are you honestly trying to suggest that SourceForge has worked out well? Look at it - it's virtually impossible to find your way to anything useful, everything is cluttered, and it doesn't offer the things people want and need. GitHub's social stuff isn't even why people use it - it's useful and fun, so sure, people like it because of that, but people use it because it makes opening up your code painless - for you and for everyone else.

SO is likewise a great resource. Yes, some people post for rep, but is that an issue, really? Crap stuff gets pushed down and the good stuff gets pushed up. I've not seen anyone successfully push 'best practices' that were not legitimately good ideas. If you think otherwise, feel free to vote that stuff down and post your own answers.

Your post in short 'WAAAHHHH THINGS HAVE CHANGED AND I DON'T LIKE IT' - grow the fuck up.

The StackOverflow map is useless (3, Insightful)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | about a year ago | (#45630767)

It's just a bunch of grey pillars, some of which have avatars plastered on top. Even in query mode, all you can get are usernames. What is the significance of the clustering? How do the different tags affect it? With the lack of information provided, they could have actually just pulled this entire visualization out of their asses and it wouldn't have made a difference.

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (5, Informative)

netpatriot (3456831) | about a year ago | (#45630775)

Did you read the About section? They are clustered by the tags of the posts. I can recognize several subcommunities I participate in... C++ land and Python island around Martelli.

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45630861)

Did you read the About section? They are clustered by the tags of the posts. I can recognize several subcommunities I participate in... C++ land and Python island around Martelli.

Yes, and if I visit my gas station every Sunday to fill up, I will also run into the same people who fill up with gas on Sundays.

Don't think we really need to identify and group people into some sort of nerd caste system just for shits and giggles. Pointless statistics are pointless, unless you somehow forgot your own proficiencies and needed to be reminded with ugly grey graphs.

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45631001)

"Nerd caste system" is a good way of describing the situation at SO and GH.

I recently had the misfortune of having a six-month contract working with a number of people who fall into the herd portion of this community.

Every lunch break ended up becoming a discussion about Hans Passant, Arun Johny, Jon Skeet, T.J. Crowder, Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood and the other 'celebrities' of SO. My co-workers would spend an hour a day mindlessly worshipping these individuals.

As an old-timer, I just didn't get it. I thought it'd blow over after a couple of weeks, but it didn't. Every day they'd talk about those people. Especially Skeet. I don't know why, but they followed his every word. One of the guys would print out Skeet's new answers from the past day, and they'd sit there and talk about them all lunch.

These were grown men in their mid-to-late 20s, and some even in their early 30s, literally worshipping some people who apparently have a lot of time to post a whole lot of comments at SO. It was more absurd than it was annoying.

At least I was only there for six months. That was more than enough for me. In my many years in industry, I've never had to deal with such a weird group of individuals. Their obsession regarding the most vocal SO users was really quite disturbing.

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about a year ago | (#45631441)

While that's bad, you know there are worse things they could be group-obsessed over.

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (1)

Ateocinico (32734) | about a year ago | (#45631543)

Stackoverflow is a source of clutter in the internet. People that rushes to program usually make dumb questions in stackoverflow, and demand a solution, not an answer. Then they punish those that give answers and explanations. They, an their hoard, demand a working a solution, so they can go on improvising without learning. And that is what stackoverflow grading system represents: an ignorance correlation index. I have to add "-stackoverflow" to every internet query these days. So pervasive is their crap.

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45631629)

I agree that plenty of the questions are like that, generally, however, the community is very negative towards those kinds of questions, and refuses to answer them, or answers with something in-depth anyway that explains the issue and how to solve it, rather than giving a copy-paste code solution.

Maybe it's different in different tags (I mainly stick to the Python tag), but that's been my experience.

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (1)

Ateocinico (32734) | about a year ago | (#45631789)

My personal experience is that there are bullies in stackoverflow that use the points system to extort code. It's like High School. If you don't make my homework, I beat you. But shameless ignorance is the norm these days. The myth of education as a waste of time for programmers, is hurting. Who reads a manual before making a stupid question? That's studiyng, you are loosing money! In the Zuckerberg-Scrooge school.

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (4, Interesting)

deroby (568773) | about a year ago | (#45631917)

I guess it depends on the subjects you're interested in. Given the size of SO (well, we should probably consider the entire Stack Exchange group, no ?) there's bound to be sub-cultures. Personally I rather occasionally browse the SQL related tags and while there are quite a bit of 'Please do my homework' kind of questions, those often don't get the answer they're looking for (that is: the worked out solution) but rather get pointers into 'the right direction'. Luckily there also are also quite a few of interesting questions that spark discussions and often-times indirectly gives me some insight into something I hadn't ever thought about before. I find that valuable. Feel free to look up my userid and you'll notice that hardly have any reputation points behind my name; in fact I have 'worked' just enough to be able to post/edit comments etc; otherwise I really don't care.

A long, long time ago I used to spend quite a bit of time on ExpertsExchange. Although I enjoyed helping out others at first it became quite frustrating after a while to see how a few people would throw a quick & dirty solution only seconds (?!?!) after it was posted. By the time I had written a fleshed out answer the original poster would already have accepted the (imho) downright terrible advice and there was no way to undo the situation except for adding a comment along the lines: please don' t do it like this for reasons x, y and z. I had no clue why (or how) these quick-posters would do this as their reputation already was sky-high until I noticed that the site had leader-boards that would nominate their 'best' people on a monthly/yearly basis. After that I gave up.

At least on SO you can down-vote a prematurely accepted answer and vote up one that makes a lot more sense. Maybe the original poster won't care to come back, but at least when someone comes around googling for an answer he'll be presented with the 'better' answer first AND the Q&D poster actually gets 'punished' by the down-votes. (As are the people who down-vote, so it's 'harder' to game the system). I'm sure SO has something like 'greatest contributors' too, and yes, there is all the badges and reputation stuff; but it seems to me there is a lot less attention given to it.

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (1)

dkf (304284) | about a year ago | (#45632149)

My personal experience is that there are bullies in stackoverflow that use the points system to extort code.

How the heck do you bully someone via SO? You might not always get the reputation rewards that you think you deserve, but if you do good questions and good answers then they will eventually rack up. (Hint: try answering things a bit off the beaten track rather than "competing" in the mega-tags. That's served me very well.)

A good question often shows code, as that makes it easier to see what the asker was really doing. A good answer often shows code as that makes it easier for the respondent to show what they mean. A really good question is one that others would want to ask too (and which can have a definite answer!), and a really good answer is one that helps many people to understand how to fix their problems in the area. "Do my homework" is never a good question, and answers which give the total worked problem answers for the homework are never good answers (too localized to just that particular problem).

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (1, Interesting)

Ateocinico (32734) | about a year ago | (#45632777)

Let me explain. Someone writing c++ code declares some variables to be private in a class, and later tries to access them directly. Of course the compiler complains. Then the guy asks why in stackoverflow.
The answering sequence goes somewhat like this:
Bjarne Stroustrup says that it can not be done because... : -1 point
The c++ standard says that ... : -1 point
Bertrand Meyer explains that the concept of privacy is.. because.. : -1 point
Declare the variable public or use setters-getters : -1 point
In every instance, the guy who has more than 900 points, only answers : "It's not clear why, could you abound?"
Who wants to help when you are punished because of that? What means the grading system in such a place? Of course stackexchange is several quantum levels above.

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45633563)

This seems like over-thinking it or excess worrying. Even if the original person asking doesn't appreciate a good answer, others can see the answer who might find the question through a search. If others are not going to find the question and answer useful, and the person posting the question isn't likely to understand the situation, then maybe it is better to just find another question to answer.

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#45632611)

You work at a sad sad place. Discussions where I work circle around the next motorcycle release from BMW, What the one LeMons racing team next year is going to do (Yes we have our own team) and how bad the latest release of the Compilers and IDE are and how we really should revert back to the less buggy version and just not tell management.

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45630785)

The clustering seems to work on stack overflow, it puts me in a cluster of other people who answer questions about the same topics I answer questions about.

I wonder if the clustering is people who have answered/commented on the same question?

Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45631135)

What is the significance of the clustering?

Circlejerking visualized!

Avatar trends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45630777)

My God, it's full of ponies.

How do you find your github numeric id? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45630813)

So I went to look at this visualization, and wanted to find myself and some friends, and what our projects looked like in this city, but we are using github and I couldn't easily figure out how to get a github user number given the regular user name. I don't think that is confidential, because you can type numbers in and sometimes photos appear. (Maybe they are just neighbors though.) I kind of agree with the last poster in that the simulation needs more descriptive notes to tell what things map to what.

Re:How do you find your github numeric id? (2)

netpatriot (3456831) | about a year ago | (#45630825)

data github -> username, stackoverflow -> userid RTFM . I can't find my github account either because, I joined in 2013. They have data up to March 2012.

Whoah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45630867)

Sooo ... It's kind of like the matrix.

I saw him (1)

Behrooz Amoozad (2831361) | about a year ago | (#45630985)

I saw jon skeet, his on the south of stackoverflow. His everywhere.

Look like Galaxies or Stargate Asuran Cities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45631017)

Interesting how each has structure and similarity to Galaxies without Blackhole Centers.. more like Globular Clusters

Wow, another pseudo-map visualization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45631043)

showing clumps representing little interest groups!

Here's a clue guys: that was never interesting, not even in 1998.

We are all simulations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45631079)

in Jon Skeet's customized universe.

scrraaaaapee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45631423)

I suppose that's one way to attempt to justify harvesting content & users from these sites and putting it into your own database.

All content scraped with permission of course.

iPalin: (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#45631451)

I can see Snowden from my house!

Nice first step for Visual Analytics (3, Interesting)

bourdux (1609219) | about a year ago | (#45631511)

I like it very much. That's an appealing way to go beyond the classic 2D graph visualization. I am part of the StackOverflow community and this visualization really shows the sub-communities existing in the website. Sometimes you have a huge skyscraper surrounded by smaller buildings, like the Git related questions (search for user ID 6309). Then you have less specific communities such as the web development (CSS, PHP, Jquery, Javascript,...) one (search for my own ID: 806221) where there are less leaders but a lot of mid-level reputation contributors.

I think this visualization could be nicely completed by community labels. To go on with the city metaphor, you could have a road sign for each cluster of buildings. I can count 10 big community in the StackOverflow metropolitan area. A modularity algorithm would identify these clusters. Then you could get a list of most frequent tags in the users of the cluster to build the road sign.

External keyboard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45631769)

I was thinking, the main problem as I see it would be input. So I'm thinking perhaps you should get a good keyboard and a cheep (big screen'd) tablet. Personally I use android for the customizability (there are for example launchers that let you scale icons). But I have no experience with ios, some like it. If he's invested in the google ecosystem (mail on gmail, video on youtube and so on) I would recommend android for that reason as well.

Of course if en external keyboard (usb or bluetooth) won't do then it's probably down to software, so just get one with a good screen.

Re:External keyboard? (1)

bourdux (1609219) | about a year ago | (#45632101)

Wrong topic?

StackOverflow Jerks? (1)

nefus (952656) | about a year ago | (#45632387)

Will this map highlight the number of jerks there are on StackOverflow? I can't count the number of times you'll see a question posted asking an intelligent question but all of the comments are asinine replies that don't actually answer the question. Then there are the questions from new folks who are trying to learn, maybe they are completely newbs and wow do they get flamed. Everybody has an opinion they want the world to know about, but at least try to answer the question without being a jerk!

Please do not call them "jerks". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45632621)

Please do not call them "jerks". The proper term is "Rubyists".

Re:StackOverflow Jerks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45646491)

StackOverflow has a proactive policy of not keeping or replying to any question that isn't printed explicitly in a manual somewhere.

Thus, the people there are very annoyed if you show that you have some analytical skills of your own and were asking for help rather than a black and white reproduction of something from a manual or spec.

Seems like they have really endeavoured to get rid of anyone who could provide insight and set it up so that your 'score' is directly related to how many people's questions you've mangled (trying to rephrase a question you don't understand let alone know the answer to) or how many poor n00bs you've flamed.

What are the cities? (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#45633559)

It would be nice if the big "cities" in the StackOverflow graph would be labelled with the tags which cause the grouping.

I am on there! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45642529)

Man, I'm out in the 'burbs.

Stack Overflow? (1)

bbsalem (2784853) | about a year ago | (#45644317)

I stopped following links to Stack Overflow when I do a search on a problem I'm trying to solve.

Useful outcomes there are few and far between in my experience with it. Is is far worse than Ubuntu Community Support where these is at least incentive to being a problem to resolution. That is not what I see on Stack Overflow.

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