Episode 53

Gathering Open Source Usage Data with Avi Press


25 February 2022

34 mins 51 secs

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About this Episode

Hello and welcome to CHAOSScast Community podcast, where we share use cases and experiences with measuring open source community health. Elevating conversations about metrics, analytics, and software from the Community Health Analytics Open Source Software, or short CHAOSS Project, to wherever you like to listen. Today, we are super excited to have as our guest, Avi Press, Founder and CEO of Scarf. Avi tells us all about Scarf, Scarf Gateway, the tools that compliment it, and details how Scarf is helping open source software developers use data effectively. Also, Avi shares something he was surprised about early on with usage of open source projects. Download this episode now to find out much more, and don’t forget to subscribe for free to this podcast on your favorite podcast app and share this podcast with your friends and colleagues!

[00:02:18] Avi tells us more about his background, what brought him into open source, and what led him to start Scarf.

[00:04:13] We learn more how Scarf works and what the tool is collecting.

[00:06:44] Kate asks Avi if he’s looking at being able to generate out the software buildable materials and making that available at all or maybe something he’s contemplating.

[00:08:18] Avi explains their polices for maintainers and Kate tells us more about a census coming out with people doing scans code that Ari is interested in.

[00:14:55] We hear a story about a package that Ari first built called scarf-js on npm.

[00:18:00] Sophia wonders from a practical standpoint, how the user experience is so they know they’re interacting with Scarf.

[00:20:15] Another question Sophie asks Avi circles back to what a user is, knowing there’s a lot of overlap between activity, new user contributors, and everything in between, and she wonders how that’s handled and the tool.

[00:22:10] Avi explains how they encourage maintainers collect usage data.

[00:23:54] Avi had mentioned that having insights and data about the usage of open source can help an open source project become more sustainable, and he shares examples that he’s seen already put in place.

[00:26:46] Kate asks Avi how he sees what he’s sharing back to the projects differing from the clones out there.

[00:28:05] We learn something that surprised Avi early on being the middleman.

[00:29:24] Find out where you follow Avi online.

Value Adds (Picks) of the week:

  • [00:30:12] Georg’s pick is having a proud father moment with his son.
  • [00:30:54] Kate’s pick is Log4j which is helping to really illustrate the need for SBOMs & tracking dependencies.
  • [00:31:26] Sophia’s pick is an electric tea kettle she just acquired.
  • [00:33:05] Avi’s picks are two open source projects that he uses: org-mode and org-roam.


  • Georg Link
  • Sophia Vargas
  • Kate Stewart


  • Avi Press



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