Matt Gemmell

My new book CHANGER is out now!

An action-adventure novel — book 1 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon

Read Me

Development 1 min read

If this was a text file, no-one would be reading it. People really don’t read the “Read Me” file. I try to make a point of at least glancing through the RM file of any app I download, but absolutely no-one reads mine. I don’t think it’s just mine, either.

Do we resort to naming our files like “WARNING! - Must Read First!”, just to get people to open them? It’s documentation, so it should be given at least cursory attention - yet time after time I receive feature requests for:

  • features which are already there

  • features mentioned as planned in the RM file

  • features mentioned as not being possible in the RM file

It’s staggering. People don’t read. People don’t look around the site. People don’t apply basic categorisation or inference skills to the world around them.

In keeping with this, I’m thinking of doing away with Read Me files. I’ll include a “How to install” file, which will give installation/removal info, and nothing more. I’ll instead include a “Read Me” option in the app’s menubar, probably in the Help menu or maybe the application menu. I’ll will, however, continue to include release notes, for two reasons:

  1. I love writing them

  2. For some reason, a lot of people really love reading them

So that’s fair enough. If you’ve read this far, thanks. Now why don’t you read my bloody Read Me files instead?