List of project forks gives very little information (BB-6263)

andymackinlay avatarandymackinlay created an issue

I think this is one of those things that has changed since the redesign, but I must admit that I can't really remember how it used to work on BB.

In any case, the list of forks of a project is not very useful. If I know that the main fork of a project has problems (e.g. been abandoned), I'd like to be able to see at a glance what the forks of a project are doing.

Obviously BB should not just be a Github clone, but consider how much information is in a Github forking map, such as https://github.com/admackin/minidetector/network

Compare this to https://bitbucket.org/tksoh/hgshelve#forks . That display tells me basically nothing except the name of fork owner. I can filter by this name, but this is not very much use to me if I just want to know what the various forks do.

I think fork-browsing is important enough that it deserves its own page (although that dynamic JS mini-browser is fine for a few use cases, I'm sure). Most importantly, I should be able to see what the differences are of the fork without having to manually click through to 15 different pages (for this case, with 15 forks). Most simply, the hover text could display a summary of the fork - many people seem to update the description to reflect how it's changed from the original project. Better still would be some dynamic display of the different changesets, although this doesn't necessarily need to emulate the Github display.

Comments (5)

  1. Joel Unger

    Hi Andy,

    We definitely agree that there is value in being able to explore forks in a visual way. Rest assured that we are working on it, but it isn't a near-term priority.

  2. Mel Collins

    I disagree that this is a duplicate. #820 is asking only for a graph/chart of forks, whereas this issue is asking for something - anything - more informative than the current javascript popup. A network chart is mentioned as only one possibility; but likely a lot more work than even something as useful as the old forks overview page used to be.

    Please read this: http://zbowling.github.com/blog/2011/11/25/github/ and consider how the points all affect BitBucket, also - especially so since the redesign has hidden a lot of fork-relationship information that used to be visible.

  3. andymackinlay

    Yes, good point Mel. Fancy graphical display would be nice to have, but something which simply showed a quick summary of salient facts (including eg project description and most recent commit date) of the forks would make life a lot easier for many BB users without, I think, requiring extensive server-side development.

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