Set On Fire

September 2018: This material is in the early prototyping stage, and is meant mostly to establish what will be covered after the companion course Still Magic. We would appreciate your help: please send us suggestions or file an issue in our GitHub repository. (We would particularly appreciate descriptions of common errors and how to fix them—there are subsections for these in every lesson.) Please note that all contributors are required to abide by our Code of Conduct.

Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.

– Terry Pratchett

This workshop will show participants how to turn an individual research software project into a research software commons, i.e., how to go from “I can use it on my machine” to “we can use it wherever we want”. Please see for a rendered version of this material or run make in this directory for a list of helpful commands. Please also see for notes on the template used for this site, and for our instructional design methodology.

Topics covered include:

  • how to organize and manage the software, data, tests, documentation, and manuscripts that make up a project,
  • what a mature workflow for a small research software commons looks like and how to implement it, and
  • how to build a community around a piece of useful software.

Comments and improvements are very welcome; you can send us either by filing issues or submitting pull requests. Please first see the design notes in s:guide for instructors’ material.