Using the git log leading up to the 1.7 release (June 2011) I put together a graphic that shows the growth of committers working on the project.
In 2002 we had two people (me alone up until October). You can see significant jumps in developer interest in 2004 and 2008:
- In 2004 there were a number of releases that added significant functionality
- Following an announcement at FOSS4G 2007 in Victoria we released 0.9 which included Python support. This opened up plugin development to a whole new group of people and contributed to growth in 2008
The graphic includes all committers including documentation writers, translators, and developers. In addition, it doesn't cover the whole spectrum of people who have contributed code and patches that were applied by project developers. There are a lot more people involved in the care and feeding of QGIS than the 46 represented on the graph.
What does it mean? QGIS continues to see growth and interest from the development and user communities. It will be interesting to see if we get a new bump following the just concluded FOSS4G conference in Denver.