Best practices for writing a README for your open source project
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README.md

Readme Best Practices

A place to copy-paste your README.md from

One of the most crucial things in your open source project is the README.md file. This repository has a ready-to-copy-paste template you can use for all your projects.

Getting started

Copy the README-default.md file for yourself and start editing! At the root of your project, run:

curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jehna/readme-best-practices/master/README-default.md > README.md

The code above fetches the README-default.md file from this repository and renames it to README.md.

Fill with your own text

The default template has some guiding text to get you started. However you'll need to edit the file with your own text to use it with your project.

atom README.md

If you're using Atom code editor, the code above opens the file for editing. If necessary, substitute with your preferred markdown editor.

Add to git and push

After you've filled your README.md file with your own project's text, you should push it to your GitHub project:

git add README.md
git commit -m "Added: README"
git push

This adds the README.md file to your git repository, creates a commit for it and pushes it to GitHub (or other preferred remote repository).

Features

This project makes it easy to:

  • Bootstrap your open source project properly
  • Make sure everyone gets what you're trying to achieve with your project
  • Follow simple instructions for a perfect README.md

Contributing

As I use this for my own projects, I know this might not be the perfect approach for all the projects out there. If you have any ideas, just open an issue and tell me what you think.

If you'd like to contribute, please fork the repository and make changes as you'd like. Pull requests are warmly welcome.

If your vision of a perfect README.md differs greatly from mine, it might be because your projects are for vastly different. In this case, you can create a new file README-yourplatform.md and create the perfect boilerplate for that.

E.g. if you have a perfect README.md for a Grunt project, just name it as README-grunt.md.

Related projects

Here's a list of other related projects where you can find inspiration for creating the best possible README for your own project:

Licensing

This project is licensed under Unlicense license. This license does not require you to take the license with you to your project.