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Cover image for 3 friendly files you probably don't have in your project.

3 friendly files you probably don't have in your project.

Ben Sinclair
I've been a professional C, Perl, PHP and Python developer. I'm an ex-sysadmin. Back in the day, I had a geekcode which I'm not going to share with you. 418 I'm a teapot.
・2 min read

So you have a robots.txt and a sitemap.xml and a LICENSE and a README and so on. But do you have anything for us humans?

humans.txt

If you couldn't guess, humans.txt is named in response to the familiar robots.txt file, and like its sibling it lives in the root of your website. As such, it doesn't tend to exist in non-web projects.

humans.txt logo

What's it for? It's for you. You can put anything you like in it - that's what it's for:

  • Credit yourself and your team.
  • Give your favourite text editor a shout-out.
  • Dedicate the site to a fallen companion.

Remember not to slag off your employer, and don't include this file at all without the client's permission.

Here's one of mine: moopet.net/humans.txt

Read more about humans.txt

ORIGINSTORY.md

Once upon a time, someone said the biggest question they had when checking out a new project was how it got its name. You know, like everyone always asks about why the O'Reilly books have animals on their covers.

Here's one of mine: moopet/burdock/[...]/ORIGINSTORY.md

To be honest, ORIGINSTORY.md doesn't have a lot of representation yet - but you can help to change that. Everyone likes a little trivia, right?

foaf

Friend-Of-A-Friend still exists, but it never reached the kind of critical mass you'd need to make it really seem worthwhile. It's another layer of interconnectedness between articles and authors and subjects and you-name-its; it's much more complex than the other static files. As another hypertext-specific file, it's not relevant to non-web projects.

FOAF

Read more about foaf

Cover photo by doctor_bob at morguefile.com

Discussion (6)

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edoverflow profile image
EdOverflow 🐸

There is also security.txt — a proposed standard which allows websites to define security policies.

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair Author

That's really cool!

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pbouillon profile image
Pierre Bouillon • Edited

Human.txt sounds great! I love this initiative, I'll definitely add one in my future projects!

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu

Great read. Human.txt sounds nice adding that to my next project.

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pabiforbes profile image
Pabi Moloi, but Forbes

Totally adding humans.txt and ORIGINSTORY.md to my next projects,
Very interesting read. :)

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helenasometimes profile image
Nienke

Humans.txt is great, we should all use it! Here's mine: nienkedekker.com/humans.txt. Feel free to use it as a template.