A Visualization of Version Histories


This is just a side project. So the 6 of us have been working some internal project on TFS (5 devs and I. Sorry for all the destructive check-ins guys. Don’t lose your faith in designers because of me). One night I extracted the version histories and had some fun with it.

The visual is inspired by Context Free. I first played with the tool in ’07 and was impressed by the powerful outcome of combining  recursion and randomness. In this visualization each curve(represents a file or a folder) wanders freely in space and gradually fades out until it gets some attention. Each is colored by the last person who made changes. A curve branches when something derives from it (files added to folder; branching versions; etc.) The tree does get out of structure and less readable after some time. I’ll try some improved concept when I have the time. 

Full view (click to enlarge):

Version history tree, full view

With my contribution highlighted:

Version history tree with contributor highlights

Click here to play with the visualization. It should work with all decent browsers that support canvas. You can highlight the map by contributor or file. Hover over a node to see detail information. I did mess up the file names so (hopefully) I’m not violating any company policy. Please don’t get me in trouble. :-p

Tools: R, HTML5