Github has released an interesting new feature to help users better manage some of the community elements of the repositories they use to manage code, definitions, data, and content across API operations. For each repository, you now have a community profile tab, where you’ll see a checklist showing how your project compares to Github recommended community standards.
If you are lacking one of these common elements, it gives you an option to quickly add one of the missing pieces. I still have some repositories where I don’t properly have licensing dictated, even a handful without a README (I know). Almost none of my repositories have a code of conduct or contributing agreement. The new feature adds another task to my list of maintenance items I’ll be tackling to help standardize the projects I manage on Github (which is everything I do).
I like where Github is going with this. It resembles what I am trying to do with API projects by identifying the common building blocks of API deployments, providing a checklist that API providers can follow when publishing their APIs–which is often done using Github. One way that API providers can help standardize these common elements across groups is to create a working API portal prototype that is forkable on Github, similar to what the GSA is doing for the federal government with their working API prototype.
Most of the time API architects and developers just need a friendly reminder, or possibly a working example they can follow when it comes to standardizing how we deploy and manage the community elements of our API operations. I hope what Github is doing with their community standards baseline will keep evolving, spreading, and eventually be something that Github organizations can templatize, standardize, and define their own criteria regarding the minimum viable aspects of community operations for the repositories they have on Github.