Sparkline showing commit activity to bzr trunkI like neat little tricks that make it easier to take in a wedge of information. Martin Albisetti‘s addition to a project branch overview pages is just one of those.

Now, the trunk branch of a project has a visual representation of its activity over the past 90 days. You’ve probably seen similar mini-graphs elsewhere, particularly if you’re a fan of the work of Edward Tufte who names them “sparklines”.

At a glance you get a feel for how many commits the branch has been getting, the distribution of its commits and when its busiest day was during that period.

Take a look at the Bazaar project’s code page for an example, or watch this short video.

Ogg Theora version

5 Responses to “Sparklines!”

  1. Vadim Says:

    Useful addition, thank you. I hope launchpad will be able to represent the graphical merges too (ala bzr viz)

  2. Toni Ruottu Says:

    What determines whether or not a branch has a sparkline? All code pages I checked have only one sparkline, and it is always the branch at the top.

  3. Matthew Revell Says:

    @Toni — a sparkline appears on the official development focus (i.e. the trunk) for the project. Most other project branches tend to be derived from the trunk, so we felt that while the feature is relatively new it’d be of most value on the trunk branch only. However, if there’s a demand for it on other branches, we want to hear 🙂

  4. Toni Ruottu Says:

    Sparkline for the trunk gives outsiders an idea about the liveliness of a project. Sparklines for branches again might help project management figure out how the different developments are proceeding. My intuition is that it would probably be useful, but not crucial.

    What currently disturbs me however, is the seeming inconsistency in selecting the branches for sparklining. For example most of the branches in my personal code section are trunks, yet only one of them has a sparkline. See

  5. Martin Albisetti Says:

    Hi Toni,

    This is a bug, I’ve filed it:


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