My first 15,000 curl commits

I’ve long maintained that persistence is one of the main qualities you need in order to succeed with your (software) project. In order to manage to ship a product that truly conquers the world. By continuously and never-ending keeping at it: polishing away flaws and adding good features. On and on and on.

Today marks the day when I landed my 15,000th commit in the master branch in curl’s git repository – and we don’t do merge commits so this number doesn’t include such. Funnily enough, GitHub can’t count and shows a marginally lower number.

This is of course a totally meaningless number and I’m only mentioning it here because it’s even and an opportunity for me to celebrate something. To cross off an imaginary milestone. This is not even a year since we passed 25,000 total number of commits. Another meaningless number.

15,000 commits equals 57% of all commits done in curl so far and it makes me the only committer in the curl project with over 10% of the commits.

The curl git history starts on December 29 1999, so the first 19 months of commits from the early curl history are lost. 15,000 commits over this period equals a little less than 2 commits per day on average. I reached 10,000 commits in December 2011, so the latest 5,000 commits were done at a slower pace than the first 10,000.

I estimate that I’ve spent more than 15,000 hours working on curl over this period, so it would mean that I spend more than one hour of “curl time” per commit on average. According to gitstats, these 15,000 commits were done on 4,271 different days.

We also have other curl repositories that aren’t included in this commit number. For example, I have done over 4,400 commits in curl’s website repository.

With these my first 15,000 commits I’ve added 627,000 lines and removed 425,000, making an average commit adding 42 and removing 28 lines. (Feels pretty big but I figure the really large ones skew the average.)

The largest time gap ever between two of my commits in the curl tree is almost 35 days back in June 2000. If we limit the check to “modern times”, as in 2010 or later, there was a 19 day gap in July 2015. I do take vacations, but I usually keep up with the most important curl development even during those.

On average it is one commit done by me every 12.1 hours. Every 15.9 hours since 2010.

I’ve been working full time on curl since early 2019, up until then it was a spare time project only for me. Development with pull-requests and CI and things that verify a lot of the work before merge is a recent thing so one explanation for a slightly higher commit frequency in the past is that we then needed more “oops” commits to rectify mistakes. These days, most of them are done in the PR branches that are squashed when subsequently merged into master. Fewer commits with higher quality.

curl committers

We have merged commits authored by over 833 authors into the curl master repository. Out of these, 537 landed only a single commit (so far).

We are 48 authors who ever wrote 10 or more commits within the same year. 20 of us committed that amount of commits during more than one year.

We are 9 authors who wrote more than 1% of the commits each.

We are 5 authors who ever wrote 10 or more commits within the same year in 10 or more years.

Our second-most committer (by commit count) has not merged a commit for over seven years.

To reach curl’s top-100 committers list right now, you only need to land 6 commits.

can I keep it up?

I intend to stick around in the curl project going forward as well. If things just are this great and life remains fine, I hope that I will be maintaining roughly this commit speed for years to come. My prediction is therefore that it will take longer than another twenty years to reach 30,000 commits.

I’ve worked on curl and its precursors for almost twenty-four years. In another twenty-four years I will be well into my retirement years. At some point I will probably not be fit to shoulder this job anymore!

I have never planned long ahead before and I won’t start now. I will instead keep focused on keeping curl top quality, an exemplary open source project and a welcoming environment for newcomers and oldies alike. I will continue to make sure the project is able to function totally independently if I’m present or not.

The 15,000th commit?

So what exactly did I change in the project when I merged my 15,000th ever change into the branch?

It was a pretty boring and non-spectacular one. I removed a document (RESOURCES) from the docs/ folder as that has been a bit forgotten and now is just completely outdated. There’s a much better page for this provided on the web site:


I of coursed asked my twitter friends a few days ago on how this occasion is best celebrated:

I showed these results to my wife. She approved.