On the importance of Readmes (1 of many)

Posted by on July 20, 2013

Earlier this week I was trying to get an Ember site to pull data from a Rails site via JSON. This meant I got to learn all about JSONP, which was interesting enough, but not the point of this post.

I needed to get my Rails site to serve stuff up in JSONP, so I did what I always do, go to rubygems and start searching. The most downloaded gem was rack-jsonp, which has this for its readme

So I used a different gem. Here’s its readme. It even has a github.io page that’s just the readme, but with some fancier styling.

The readme isn’t a work of art anything, but it exists. And it tells me what I need to know:

  • How to configure the gem
  • How to get a JSONP response

I’m sure the other gem is great and simple to use, etc. etc.. But one gem author took 10 minutes to write the Readme and another didn’t. Which one of these would you want to use?