Talk Python to Me: Tools for README

Monday 26 December 2022

Michael Kennedy invited me on his podcast to chat about a round-up of tools for README maintenance and other similar project automation: Talk Python to Me #395: Tools for Creation and Maintenance.

We talked about almost 20 different tools, intermixed with philosophical discussion about the problems maintainers face and the solutions they use. Project maintainers need to write about their work, and present it to their users. How to do that in a way that is convenient for both the maintainer and the user? What to automate, and how?

Of course, I have opinions about this, which come out in the course of the episode. Here are some of my top principles:

  • Writing about your work helps you understand your work.
  • You need to write with your audience in mind, and “the same thing” may need to be said multiple times, in different ways, for different audiences.
  • As much as possible, have a single source of truth, published to multiple places as needed.
  • It’s good to automate collecting information together for publishing, but a human editing pass makes the result much better.

It was a fun discussion. Because we are both nerds caught up in the energy of the moment, along the way we also touched on other topics like Twitter vs Mastodon, ChatGPT and so on. Give it a listen. I’m always interested to hear about other approaches and tools.


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