Ongoing wishlist for developer websites

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Ongoing wishlist for developer websites

#1 Post by webfork » Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:49 pm

I feel like I've already talked about this somewhere before but I searched through the database and couldn't find it. To be clear, I appreciate that a lot of devs are doing this for free and we're here to help promote good software, but these can all help us separate the gold from the stones.

Things I'd encourage every developer to encourage interest, listed roughly in order of preference:
  • Screenshots that are clear and detailed - this doesn't have to be every single screen that your program can display, but a picture really is worth a thousand words. This should always be one of the first three things on your home page.
  • Changelog - that's clear and obvious and contains dates. This the easiest way to tell your visitors this is an actively developed program that does more than update the skins every 6 months. As a freeware maintainer, this is maybe my most common frustration.
  • Short video introduction - Helps avoid making your users dig for the point of your efforts. Over 2 minutes but no more than 5, with the highlights like the problem it solves, who might be interested.
  • Mirrors - Demonstrates your program's availability.
  • Requirements / Expertise necessary - If the program you're working on is really targeted at developers, put that up top. If it only runs on Windows 10 with the latest dotNET version, requires a gig of space, and you need to download FFMPEG, list that too. I've looked at a dozen programs in the past month alone that had me digging for 10 minutes only to find out it requires (for example) Python expertise and only runs on Android.
  • A clear license - important bits for us are whether it can be used in a professional environment and if you can redistribute the binary (we mirror a lot of old programs to keep them alive).
Finally, if it's open source: a clearly labeled license, location for the source code, and build instructions.


Update: I did already write something up on this, but it has a different take so I'll keep them separate for now.

Additional suggestions welcome.


Related: Open letter to security developers

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Re: Ongoing wishlist for developer websites

#2 Post by Midas » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:42 am

I think you pretty much covered all the bases. Will post back if I can think of anything. Meanwhile, thank you -- especially for the clarity and terseness. :sunglasses:

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