One problem I believe there is with all relative cred based approaches is that it has increasing difficulty over time. As the total amount of cred increases, so does the absolute cred required to meet a threshold.
So a relative threshold might make sense when looking at 1 year worth of contributions. But may be completely off for 3 years worth of contributions (or 3 weeks).
If your goal is to “give credit to anyone that made a noteworthy contribution” using an absolute cred threshold may be a lot more stable definition of “noteworthy” over time.
The same could apply to the middle group of your typical 3-tier division. If you wish to split your contributors into:
- Core contributors
- Regular contributors
- Noteworthy contributors
- (drive-by contributors we don’t mention)
If you set your “regular contributors” threshold to be a relative one. People who have been regular contributors for some time but stopped, may at some point be knocked back down into the tier below that as other contributors accrue more cred. That may be what you want, if you’re looking to recognize ongoing regular contributions over historical regular contributors.
If instead you want your “regular contributors” tier to behave like a historical hall-of-fame for anyone who at some point got recognized as a regular contributor, regardless of whether they’re still active, you probably need an absolute threshold instead.
Either way, time is a really interesting factor in the relative cred scores.
A situation where I can imagine actively using different parameters is when trying to glean some community health metrics from cred.
You might use a first 80% accumulative cred of a sliding window of 5-10 weeks. As a metric of how is the work distributed between people at that time. And compare this to a 80% accumulative cred for larger windows, like per year. To find out which unique people are handling this work.
Edit: to illustrate these issues, I’ve made variations of the sfosc / sourcecred data sources. You can now pick a 2019 Q2 version and 2019 week 32 version of each to see how relative scores hold up.