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Launching a community built implementation guide for the Standard for Public Code


Almost since the beginning of the Standard for Public Code, we have had discussions about how we can make it easier for people to start applying it to their codebase. We thought about adding more examples to the standard and talked about links to different implementations. It has been discussed in several of our community calls, where a wish for this has been expressed clearly. So we have known for some time that we should address this need, but were not sure what the best solution would be.

We felt adding examples and other stories to the Standard for Public Code could be a distraction from the requirements and risk reducing the creativity in how they can be met.

The solution: a standalone guide

What we are launching now is a standalone guide, in which examples, methods, templates and further reading really can get the space they deserve while we keep the standard itself sharp and to the point. As we are keeping it separate, we can add as many resources we feel are relevant without affecting the standard’s readability. This should make it easier to use the standard as a reference when auditing a codebase, and allows the guide to be full of alternatives when thinking about how a codebase could meet a certain requirement.

The guide can be found at

Everything you can find in the guide could be considered to be “pre-approved”. By that, we mean that if you are using the guide in good faith to meet a requirement, you should be confident that the codebase would pass when assessed by the Foundation for Public Code.

Structure of the guide

The guide follows the same structure as the standard, giving each criterion its own page and each requirement a heading. This way we can put advice on the level it is appropriate, from the most specific to the more general. Each section can have different subsections, like examples, tools, templates or further reading.

We need your help

The guide has been seeded with a few solutions that we have already seen work. Some existing examples and further reading in the standard have been moved to the guide.

But we know there is much more knowledge in the public code community.

Please help us to add resources and examples that can help others to implement the Standard for Public Code. Start a pull request yourself, or explain what you want added in a new issue. If you feel more at home with email than GitHub, you can also sign up to our Standard for Public Code mailing list and make your suggestions there.