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Searching and Visualizing Open Source Email List Traffic

Jason Hunter (Mark Logic), Ryan Grimm (Mark Logic)
Web Applications
Location: E145
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)

According to MarkMail.org, the Apache community has sent 4 million emails so far in their 13 year history. The PHP community passed half a million in the years since 2000, and MySQL is now closing in on 400,000 in the same eight years. These open source mailing lists are full of information—in the messages themselves and also in the emergent patterns you can discover when visualizing the email traffic.

This talk, by the co-creators of MarkMail.org, introduces attendees to the site and demonstrates all the tricks you can use to make the most of open source email lists, and also shows a few fun visualizations we’ve discovered.

As Tim O’Reilly said in a Radar post: “Imagine a tool that lets you see trends across thousands of email messages, saved over years. Imagine being able to find who is the most prolific poster on a given topic, and explore the histogram of their entire message history. Imagine being able to do instantaneous data mining against millions of stored messages, with a response time better than you get looking at your local mailbox. MarkMail provides all this and more.”

Photo of Jason Hunter

Jason Hunter

Mark Logic

Jason Hunter is Principal Technologist with Mark Logic, specializing in large-scale XML content manipulation using XQuery. He’s co-creator of MarkMail, the author of “Java Servlet Programming” (O’Reilly Media), and the creator of the JDOM open source project for Java-optimized XML manipulation.

Photo of Ryan Grimm

Ryan Grimm

Mark Logic

Ryan Grimm is a senior engineer with Mark Logic Corporation and co-creator of MarkMail. Prior to Mark Logic, Ryan was a software engineer for O’Reilly Media where he developed the XQuery back-end for SafariU and initiated O’Reilly Labs. Ryan started his career developing the search engine LANDex, used by Iowa State University.

OSCON 2008