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Data on most popular ROS packages

In the Metrics report released late last year , the top 40 most downloaded packages were mentioned, however, they are the default packages available with ROS distros. What is the right source for me to look for the most popular and commonly used ROS packages?

During my search, I came across a thread that stated that MoveIt is the 3rd most popular package. Is this from a report? If yes, please do share.

Secondly, I was looking at the OS related metrics for ROS2 here How do I interpret the popularity of Windows over Linux? Is the numbers skewed because ROS2 on Linux is installed via apt?

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I believe some of this was discussed in the later comments on ROS Metrics.

Some of the plots are somewhat skewed because of the way the source data captures events.

@DLu and @tfoote would be able to explain this better.

There’s no great way to determine what’s most commonly used. There’s only some indirect proxies.

Most Downloaded Packages is one way to measure, but that’s based on downloading package binaries from packages.ros.org, which not everyone does, and doesn’t count if you downloaded from source. The website only lists the top ten for aesthetic reasons. I could post the current full list if desired.

The Repos Table sorts based on Github metrics (forks/stars/subs)

The ROS2 data was discussed on Discourse previously. I cannot speak to the difference between these numbers and the ones from packages.ros.org. If there are different ways of visualizing this data could be useful, please let me know by opening an issue

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Also won’t count docker or snap containers distributed for production.

I’d also be interested in having an annual complete list or adding to your metrics repo table. Though on the bottom of the page it says: “the most downloaded packages introduced in each year”. I’m more interested in the top packages of the year regardless of their introduction, though having a top-10 of new things is a nice metric too!

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Full List of Top Packages

5308 packages in total. Fun fact: I’m responsible for one of the least downloaded packages ever: joint-state-publisher-js

For the latter, I opened a ticket to make a separate page for that. I had a vague memory of the top packages not changing too much, but that might have been from before I got the expanded logs. There’s definitely some variability. I’ve been looking at zingchart for displaying a couple of unique types of data, like these rankings and the country rankings

----  -  ---------------------  -------
2014  0  std-msgs                 52229
2014  1  message-runtime          51361
2014  2  rosconsole               51196
2014  3  xmlrpcpp                 51119
2014  4  rosgraph-msgs            50987
2014  5  roscpp                   50574
2014  6  geometry-msgs            50393
2014  7  rospy                    50381
2014  8  catkin                   50367
2014  9  sensor-msgs              50307
2015  0  roscpp                   87901
2015  1  catkin                   87470
2015  2  tf                       85820
2015  3  rosbag                   85678
2015  4  rosbuild                 84776
2015  5  rosconsole               84572
2015  6  std-msgs                 84555
2015  7  rosgraph-msgs            84479
2015  8  message-generation       84446
2015  9  cpp-common               84376
2016  0  urdf-tutorial           305533
2016  1  roscpp                  289902
2016  2  message-runtime         289460
2016  3  message-generation      289024
2016  4  genpy                   288653
2016  5  std-msgs                287318
2016  6  rospack                 286020
2016  7  xmlrpcpp                285658
2016  8  rosgraph-msgs           285393
2016  9  roslib                  284745
2017  0  rviz                    505440
2017  1  tf2-ros                 498131
2017  2  tf                      494169
2017  3  tf2-py                  475799
2017  4  gazebo-plugins          456251
2017  5  laser-geometry          453742
2017  6  actionlib               448684
2017  7  tf2-msgs                447002
2017  8  interactive-markers     446854
2017  9  tf2                     445335
2018  0  tf2-ros                 819624
2018  1  tf                      807983
2018  2  tf2-py                  770879
2018  3  tf2-msgs                770595
2018  4  tf2                     768915
2018  5  pcl-ros                 732875
2018  6  cv-bridge               716967
2018  7  actionlib               711472
2018  8  laser-geometry          710910
2018  9  rviz                    710391
2019  0  tf2-ros                1130085
2019  1  actionlib              1123773
2019  2  resource-retriever     1122357
2019  3  rviz                   1120802
2019  4  pluginlib              1114987
2019  5  robot-state-publisher  1101370
2019  6  sensor-msgs            1097838
2019  7  tf                     1082884
2019  8  message-filters        1079182
2019  9  roscpp                 1073007
2020  0  rviz                    518233
2020  1  ros-core                515827
2020  2  ros-base                514639
2020  3  ros-comm                488302
2020  4  tf2-ros                 485901
2020  5  roslisp                 482499
2020  6  tf                      475840
2020  7  resource-retriever      468266
2020  8  sensor-msgs             467686
2020  9  desktop                 466699
----  -  ---------------------  -------
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This data is surprisingly interesting. @Katherine_Scott maybe something to play with your data science skills.

I’m surprised how high up some of the ROS2 stuff is given ROS1 has a 8 year head start.

This could make for some nice superlatives. Of the packages I made alone, my lowest is ros2 ouster with 26 binary installs. Which is surprising to me knowing some folks that use it its that low. But its in the lowest 3.6% of installs (but hopefully growing). My highest is STVL in the top 20% with nearly 16k.

This has some really interesting insights in it - like I’m seeing grid-maps scattered pretty high all over the place. This was an area I was interested in and migrating some elements of it to Navigation2, but it seems I’m late to the game, everyone else is already doing it!

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Regarding MoveIt, in ROS’s 2014 survey the following question was posed:

Which ROS packages are most important to you?

And MoveIt was ranked #3
https://www.ros.org/news/2014/04/ros-user-survey-the-results-are-in.html

I have not seen a similar question asked since then to know if that is still the case.

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