Coding on GitHub
These are the things I look for in projects on GitHub.
I also aim to follow these on my own projects.
Always have a README file, even if it is only a single sentence or a list of TODO notes.
If a project does not have a README then I am less likely to read further, because it already feels incomplete.
A short description of why someone would want to use this project.
If installation is a single step, like
npm install coffee-script, then
that is perfect to include in the README, to show how simple it is.
Otherwise you should add a link to more detailed steps if they are complex.
Include requirements, like Operating System, language and libraries, even if they seem obvious.
Projects using NPM will include a
package.json that specifies the requirements, but the README should
still state this.
I stopped myself from emphasising that more, but examples are the most important thing for me.
They show me the elegant syntax of your library and help me imagine how I could use it.
Every project should have a license, otherwise it makes it difficult for people to know if they can use the project how they would like.
GitHub have a choose a license site that can help you find one that covers what you want.
I tend to pick the MIT license because it seems to be the most open.
The issue and pull request system on GitHub is great!
A nice feature is by including a CONTRIBUTING file in the root folder, it will be shown above the create issue form.
This is perfect for explaining the format you prefer when specifying issues.