Make Git project

This course is a follow-up of make a project. We will talk about a lot of files used in GIT repositories, and introduce other courses such as HMI, Design Patterns, Code guidelines, Tests, etc.

This is not only a course that is explaining to you "how to make a Git project", since I wanted to add knowledge for IT project too. This is a gathering of

  • explanations about the most used files in GIT
  • explanations about courses that you might want to look at
  • a lot of tips about IT (and Git) projects (versioning, ...)

This is focused on providing help for open-source projects, but I'm sure that you'll be able to tell what you can do (or not) according to what kind of project you're doing.

About other courses

If you are planning to make a project with a team, you should also look at AGILE-SCRUM methodology (or Agile methodologies), to replace the traditional V-Model.

If you are planning to make something clean, and well-made, then you should look at

  • Design patterns: typical implementations of some concepts
  • Methodologies: some methodologies you might want to try
  • Code guidelines: make your code consistent (how parameters are declared? Language? Indents? ...)
  • Tests: automated tests to test that your software is working as intended, even after some updates
  • HMI: carefully think about your interface
  • Frameworks: frameworks that are actively maintained might help you save time, while making your code more maintainable and secure

And finally, you should look at the project management course (namely "Make a project"), as it explains things like "how to write specifications", or how you can organize your project.

This is a file you must already know. We are putting a in Markdown (or README.rst, if you enjoy ReStructuredText) to explain

  • What's the project's name
  • What's the project's goal/ description of the project
  • Why did you made this project? Who is your audience?
  • How we can install the project? Run it? Test it?
  • Where is the documentation? (you got one, right? Right? 🧐)
    • You should add some samples of code
    • Of course, you should generate the code's documentation (like the Javadoc, the JSDoc, ...)
    • Write runtimes usages (global variables, the usage of a session for a website, ...)
    • ex:, Read the Docs, Doxygen, ...
  • Some badges such as this one badge (more explanations here)
  • You may add pictures/a GIF showing an example of what's the project doing
  • A link to a demo (if you have one)
  • Credits/Authors and core maintainers (with a way to contact them)

You may also

  • Add the contributors (some are doing it)
  • Add a link to other files (such as the LICENSE, or CONTRIBUTING)
  • Read this website


In, as you will see later, you have to define guidelines/a style for things such as commits. For instance, some are adding smileys and so as you can see here.

According to Conventional Commits, the structure should be

<type>[(optional scope)]: <description>

[optional body]

[optional footer(s)]


  • type (you may add a ! before : for MAJOR changes)
    • build, docs, feat (=MINOR), fix (=PATCH), style, test
    • chore, ci, perf, refactor, revert, security
    • upgrading/downgrading dependencies
  • description: short description, you may reference issues/pull requests
  • body: a list of every change, one per line, or a complete description of your change
  • footer: you may add "BREAKING CHANGE" (=MAJOR), Co-authored-by, Reviewed-by, Refs etc.

You may check that your message is valid using commitlint. If you don't understand MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH, check the section about versioning (a bit further).


You must add a LICENSE, the most used ones being

Pick the one that is corresponding to what you want

Tell others, how they can contribute to your project.

  • Maybe add a description/table of contents
  • How issues are handled?
  • How pull requests are handled?
  • What guidelines/style are you following?
    • commits (example)
    • code
    • documentation
  • Where, and How, can we ask a question?
  • Is there a place to discuss/chat?
  • Example: atom -

This is useful to help the developers know what you did, or everything major that happened. The website keep a changelog is giving you a lot of help.

  • latest to oldest
  • for each version
    • give the release date (YYYY-MM-DD)
    • tell us what you added/changed
    • tell us what you deprecated/removed/fixed
    • you may link issues, pull requests, and commits

On GitHub, the releases could be an alternative to the, or you can use both.

You got tools that may help you generate a changelog, but I didn't test them

What behavior is tolerated? What's behavior isn't tolerated? You should explain this in the Code Of Conduct.

The most used template is the Contributor Covenant (Markdown - 2.1), you can find the latest version here.

You can add this badge too, if you're proud of it Contributor Covenant

[![Contributor Covenant](](

You should give a way for users to report any security-related issues. You may also write in this file,

  • which versions of your software will have security updates,
  • or for how much time you're planning to provide security updates, for each version

Sometimes, even if you moved to another major version (like from v1 to v2), you will still provide security updates for the previous versions. We usually call these versions "Long-Term Support" (LTS). For instance, Java LTS versions are released every 5 years, we got Java11 and soon Java17.

If you're tenacious and motivated, you might read about security practices here. I haven't read enough to make you a summary.


I'm including two things into "templates".

  • Repository templates

Maybe someone already configured a repository for you. On GitHub, you can find "template" repositories that are expressly made to be used as a template.

Note that you may find node-project templates too, etc.

  • Issues and pull requests templates

I don't know if you can do that everywhere, but on GitHub, you can define templates for your issues and your pull requests. Everything is explained in the Git course.


Usually, developers are configuring automatic testing or actions that are executed each time they're making a commit/pull request. An action could

  • check that the code is compiling on some OS
  • check that the code is covered by the tests
  • check that you didn't have introduced a security breach
  • ...

On GitHub, the concept of workflow is associated with the notion of actions. You got a lot of tools/some help in the section about advanced concepts in the Git course.


It seems that a lot of persons are using

  • The Semantic Versioning 2.0.0
      • MAJOR: breaking change (of the API)
      • MINOR: non-breaking change, backward compatible
      • PATCH: internal change
    • 0.y.z: in development
    • 1.y.z: stable
    • you may add a tag like 1.0.0-alpha
  • You may also check Calver

Sometimes, we are adding a ROADMAP, to help others get a hand of what we made, why, what are we doing now, and what are we planning to do in the future.

  • welcome contributors
    • give a good first impression
    • project summary
    • how can we get involved?
  • timeline
    • what you did?
    • what are you doing?
    • what are you planning to do?
    • You should talk about Short/Medium/Long terms

Bunch of notes

In an open-source project,

  • make every discussion public
  • check the license of the libraries you're using
  • try to answer any issues/pull requests within 48 hours, give feedback and gratitude to your contributors
  • CODEOWNERS: at least on GitHub, you can create a file called CODEOWNERS. You can use regex to tell GitHub who wrote these files. When someone is submitting a pull request/issue changing the file assigned to an author, GitHub will automatically ask for their review.
  • You may add CITATION.cff to tell others how to cite your project.

For open-source projects