I discovered Ohloh a while back, and I must say that I find the idea very intriguing. The notion of tracking who uses a particular framework is fine and dandy, but it’s great to be able to track real statistics about code size over time, commits over time, even approximately how much it would cost to be developed commercially.
As time goes on, and more people and proejcts get added to their database, I think they’ll find they’ve stumbled on a very valuable source of information. Then they can put together some useful ways to aggregate this data and really get things going. They’ve already gotten some of it in place, being able to compare some popular web frameworks or their underlying languages. But I think they could do more.
I suggested that they look into figuring out which frameworks (or languages) an application relies on, so that we can get some very useful numbers for the corporate world. It’s neat to see how much the framework would cost to build, but it’d be loads better to see how much money (and time) was saved when writing applications on top if it. Bottom-line-driven management types would love to see a side-by-side comparison, giving a basic idea of which framework (or language) to choose when developing their new killer app.
All in all, Ohloh is a great concept, and looks very nice so far, but it’s still lacking several features that could make it a true powerhouse for decision makers. In the meantime, I’ll just do my part by providing them whatever information I can, and making suggestions where they make sense. I just hope they know what they’ve got.