What do Programmers Feel About their Software?

What do programmers feel about their software? Are they happy with they system? Disgusted? Saddened?

I've written a little program to find out. It works by extracting the comments from the source code and feeding them into Synesketch, a textual emotion recognition and visualization engine. The program ignores documentation comments, because those are written for public consumption. I'm only interested in the comments used for private communication between team members.

Here's some results for well-known open-source Java programs.

Apache Tomcat

Tomcat 4 looks pretty nasty but the team seem much happier with how Tomcat 5 and 6 turned out.


JUnit 4


Enterprise Applications

And a couple of enterprise applications that will remain nameless:

Try it Yourself

I've made the software available in a Bazaar repository at http://www.natpryce.com/bzr/project-painter. You'll need a Unix machine with a C99 compiler and JDK 1.6 (I've only tried it on Ubuntu 8.04).

The main program is 'paint-project'. I'm afraid there is no documentation, so you'll have to read the source to work out how to run it. Luckily there's not very much of it.

Copyright © 2008 Nat Pryce. Posted 2008-11-04. Share it.