While generally there isn’t any real benefit in using this tool, it has been known to be able to increase your swag factor by up to 83% and it is, in the context of version control, the ultimate eye candy, an absolute must-have for catholic priests and Pedobear fanboys.
Gource was developed by Andrew Caudwell as a software version control visualization tool with built-in log generation support for Git, Mercurial, Bazaar and SVN. To find out more about it, you can check out the official page on code.google.com.
Software projects are displayed by Gource as an animated tree with the root directory of the project at its centre. Directories appear as branches with files as leaves. Developers can be seen working on the tree at the times they contributed to the project.
Windows users can download it from the Downloads section of the project page, install it and run it normally from a command prompt, while in Linux, you can just install it from the main repository:
sudo apt-get install gource
To use it, just navigate to the working directory of a git repository and run it:
cd /path/to/your/repo gource
or, run it directly by just providing the directory as an argument:
Here’s an absolutely remarkable video showing 21 years (1991 – 2012) of the Linux Kernel development process in somewhere around almost three hours:
Check out the help/man pages for a list of all the options and how to use them. For instance, I sometimes use this as a screensaver:
gource -1920x1080 --fullscreen --multi-sampling -a 0.1 --time-scale 3.0 --loop -i 3600
Oh, and here are some fun interactive keyboard commands:
(V) Toggle camera mode (C) Displays Gource logo (K) Toggle file extension key. (M) Toggle mouse visibility (N) Jump forward in time to next log entry. (S) Randomize colours. (+-) Adjust simulation speed. (<>) Adjust time scale. (TAB) Cycle through visible users (F12) Screenshot (Alt+Enter) Fullscreen toggle (ESC) Quit
The documentation is a lot, but well structured and worth reading + there’s even a guide for recording / encoding videos if you’re not into third party video capture software.