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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Leave a project how you would like to find it

I started a new CMS project yesterday with Radiant. One aspect I am really focusing on is to ensure that all the "other" details are taking care of during the development, so when another developer needs to work on it, they can get started on it as quickly as possible.

The new Bundler and Rails 2.x config.gem have certainly helped with installing dependent gems, but I still think it's beneficial to have a step by step guide in the form of a README file on getting the application running and any other aspects of the application the developer should know about.

GitHub presents the README file of the homepage of the repository.

README file on Github

Please replace the default README file in your Rails or Radiant application (or any other open source application). Here's a basic outline of what you could include:

  • Application setup and database bootstrapping
  • Testing frameworks used and how to run the tests
  • References used on the project (for example, if you used a third-party API, link to those documents)
  • Any other interesting notes that you discovered during development, but would have liked to have known before you got started
  • Populating the database with "demo" data
  • How to easily preview application emails (hint: rake tasks)

Are there any other items that should be in the README? Do you have any links to examples of great README's?

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