Simon Phipps disses downloads as a proxy for FOSS adoption in his post for InfoWorld entitled: “The Download Deception”. He points out how important community metrics are in assessing FOSS projects, and gives Ohloh a nice shout-out in reference to his experience at Sun Microsystems, assessing Sun’s successes and problems with their open source communities:
If we’d had tools like Ohloh in those days, I’m sure things would have been different.
This begs the question though: if adoption is truly an important metric in understanding the success of a FOSS project, how could a site like Ohloh do a better job in illuminating adoption trends for projects? We could look at site statistics, downloads, questions on StackOverflow, and many other potential proxies for adoption, but we’re curious – what do you think? Please add some comments to this post with suggestions for new adoption metrics that Ohloh could .. adopt!