No Description, Website, or Topics Provided

Solitary on purpose or not?

Yihui Xie 2018-07-14

Usually I tend to be conservative on actively marketing my own products, but I have also seen people who seem to be totally unaware of marketing, which is a pity in my eyes. A very typical example is a Github repo that has no description, website URL, or topics, which looks like this:

No Description, Website, or Topics Provided

I sigh a sigh every time I see it. I don’t know what the repo owner is thinking. If one just prefers hiding oneself in public, the lack of more information makes sense, otherwise I think a description and a README are the most basic elements you should provide in a Github repo. You probably don’t expect everyone to read your source code to know what this repo actually does.

Better, you should provide a URL to a website associated with this repo. It could be a documentation website, or other types of websites. Even if the repo is the special and conventional *.github.io (meaning Github Pages), you should provide a link explicitly so that visitors can simply click it. I have tried to copy the text *.github.io and paste it in my browser’s address bar many times to open such websites when a repo does not provide an explicit and clickable link (yes, I’m this curious to read other people’s websites). Sometimes I even have to open the CNAME file in the repo to figure out the website URL. I don’t think many people are as curious as me in these cases, so unless you want to hide yourself intentionally, please consider providing a description and a website in your Github repo (click the Edit button and fill out the two text fields).