An Empirical Study of README contents for JavaScript Packages

Shohei IKEDA  Akinori IHARA  Raula Gaikovina KULA  Kenichi MATSUMOTO  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E102-D   No.2   pp.280-288
Publication Date: 2019/02/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2018EDP7071
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Software Engineering
Keyword: 
documentation,  README,  association rule mining,  JavaScript packages,  

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Summary: 
Contemporary software projects often utilize a README.md to share crucial information such as installation and usage examples related to their software. Furthermore, these files serve as an important source of updated and useful documentation for developers and prospective users of the software. Nonetheless, both novice and seasoned developers are sometimes unsure of what is required for a good README file. To understand the contents of README, we investigate the contents of 43,900 JavaScript packages. Results show that these packages contain common content themes (i.e., ‘usage’, ‘install’ and ‘license’). Furthermore, we find that application-specific packages more frequently included content themes such as ‘options’, while library-based packages more frequently included other specific content themes (i.e., ‘install’ and ‘license’).