Working In The Code Mines: Mining Software Repositories With PyDriller


August 24th, 2020

40 mins 3 secs

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About this Episode


A large portion of the software industry has standardized on Git as the version control sytem of choice. But have you thought about all of the information that you are generating with your branches, commits, and code changes? Davide Spadini created the PyDriller framework to simplify the work of mining software repositories to perform research on the technical and social aspects of software engineering. In this episode he shares some of the insights that you can gain by exploring the history of your code, the complexities of building a framework to interact with Git, and some of the interesting ways that PyDriller can be used to inform your own development practices.


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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Davide Spadini about PyDriller, a framework for mining software repositories


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by describing what PyDriller is and how the project got started?
    • How is Pydriller different from other Git frameworks?
  • What kinds of information can you discover by mining a software repository?
    • Where and how might the collected information be used?
  • What are the limitations of the capabilities offered by Git for investigating the repository?
  • What are the additional metrics that you are able to extract using PyDriller?
  • Can you describe how PyDriller itself is implemented?
    • How has the project evolved since you first began working on it?
  • I noticed that for testing PyDriller you crafted a set of repositories to serve as test cases. What has been the most complex or challenging aspect of writing meaningful tests to ensure a reasonable coverage of this problem domain?
  • What would be required to add support for other version control systems?
  • How have you used PyDriller in your own research?
  • What are some of the most interesting, unexpected, or innovative ways that you have seen PyDriller used?
  • What are some of the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working on and with PyDriller?
  • What do you have planned for the future of PyDriller?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA