Releasing your code: it's more than just sticking it on a website

Posted by a.hay on 2 May 2014 - 1:20pm

You've created your software, it works and the response so far has been great. But now you want to make it available to a larger audience. How do you go about it?

You'll need to know how to package what you're trying to distribute. There is no point sharing your work if it is inaccessible to a new user, after all. Mike Jackson's blog post shows how to do this by making the package accessible and never forgetting that your users might not be as expert as you. You might also want to work with a technical writer to help create the best documentation.​

Obviously you'll need to know how to release it. Steve Crouch's Top Tips on this subject will show you how to do this, and just as importantly, when and with what licence. It's also good to think about whether people will be able to properly cite and describe your software.

You will also need to know how to promote your software, which we also cover in another top tips article. Here you can find out the best ways to engage with your users, make them want to find out more about your software and the best way to develop selling points. It's also helpful to know how to write a good press release.

Finally, you will want to check that your software is ready for release. Our guide provides you with a checklist, from ensuring you give version information to library names and the terms of your copyright.

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