Today Romain Francois posted an interesting topic in the R-help list, and you can read his blog post for more details: celebrating R commit #50000. 50000 is certainly not a small number; we do owe R core members a big “thank you” for their great efforts in this fantastic statistical language in the 13 years. When I saw Romain’s data, I suddenly remembered a question I asked to one of Prof Ripley’s student a couple of years ago: does Prof Ripley ever sleep? And he answered “No!”. No wonder we can see Prof Ripley so frequently in the R-help/devel mailing list. If you have stayed on R-help list for enough long time, you’ll surely know several facts, e.g. Martin Maechler will arrive in less than 3 minutes if you dare call an R package “library”, and you will get “Ripleyed” if you are not careful enough in posting your R code.
> library(fortunes) > fortune("Ripleyed") And the fear of getting Ripleyed on the mailing list also makes me think, read, and improve before submitting half baked questions to the list. -- Eric Kort R-help (January 2006)
While these facts are revealing their great efforts in helping R users, we can see their work hours in committing revisions to R. For example, the answer to my question is clear in the graph below:
Here I only selected four authors who have largest number of commits during 1997~2009. We can see the changes of working hours along these years:
The patterns are clear: Kurt does not like burning night oil; Martin tends to work very early in the morning (esp during 2000~2004); Peter always work at mid-night (highly centered around 12pm); and for Prof Ripley, he works round the clock but most in the morning (probably that’s when he begins to ``Ripley’’ users? after that time, less people dare to report bugs so his work decays exponentially?)