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The Readme file

Introduction

Each readme file starts with a few lines that give a short, machine-readable overview over various attributes of the upload. These lines, which are also referred to as "fields", are followed by an empty line. Below that, you can print a short introduction to your upload, include your copyright notice or simply add whatever documentation is inside the archive. A typical Aminet readme file would look like this:

Short:        Shows JPEG & IFF pics. AGA support
Uploader:     aminet@aminet.net (Urban Mueller)
Author:       aminet@aminet.net (Urban Mueller)
Type:         gfx/show
Version:      1.2
Architecture: m68k-amigaos >= 2.0.4
Distribution: Aminet
Kurz:         Zeigt JPEG und IFF an, AGA-Support

This all new picture displayer is capable of showing almost any image
type in any resolution. Main features include:
- Scrolling screens
- CLI and WB interface
 ......

This example demonstrates the fields that can be used in your readme file, a detailed explanation for each of them is following below. Some of these fields are are absolutely mandatory (i.e. you risk having your upload deleted if you do not specify them), some of them are recommended and some of them are completely optional.

Short:

This field needs to be the first line of the readme file. It lets you specify a short description of your upload which will be displayed in Aminet's directory tree and in our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters. This description must not be longer than 40 characters. Don't repeat the file name here and do not include any version numbers or target platforms in the Short: field - try to explain what the program does. Music should specify the style and author. Don't boast or use much uppercase.

If your upload requires a language other than English, please mention that language in the Short: description.

Author:

This is the place where you can indicate who created the piece of software you are uploading. You can optionally include an email here, but keep in mind that it will not be obfuscated, e.g. it might be harvested by spam bots.

Uploader:

Lets you indicate your email address so we can contact you if something goes wrong (and this happens more often than you think). You have to provide a clearly readable, non-obfuscated e-mail address here. Don't worry about recieving lots of SPAM mails; Your e-mail address will be stripped for "@" and "." characters in the readme file before it gets added to the Aminet archive. This way it remains human readable, but useless for spam bots.

Type:

Here you need to specify a target directory for your upload. Check the index of Aminet directories for a list of possible values.

Architecture:

This field is used to specify the target architecture of your upload. Here is a list of possible target architectures:

  • m68k-amigaos
  • ppc-amigaos
  • ppc-morphos
  • ppc-powerup
  • ppc-warpup
  • i386-aros
  • i386-amithlon
  • generic

If your package does not contain any binaries, you should use "generic". If your package contains binaries for one or more platforms, you need to specify the appropriate architecture(s) here. You can list several architectures, separated by semicolons. Examples:

Package contains binaries for classic AmigaOS:

Architecture: m68k-amigaos

Package contains binaries for MorphOS:

Architecture: ppc-morphos

Package contains binaries for AmigaOS 4 and WarpUp:

Architecture: ppc-amigaos; ppc-warpup

Note: you only specify architectures that the binaries in your package were compiled for. You do not specify architectures that your binaries happen to be compatible with. If you are uploading a binary for m68k-amigaos, that's the only architecture you should specify - no matter if your binary also happens to run on other platforms (AmigaOS 4, MorphOS) by means of emulation.

Additionally, a version string together with a modifier (>=, >, =, <, <=) can be added to each architecture you specify, to point out the minimum or maximum version number of said architecture required to run your program. Examples:

Package contains binaries for MorphOS 1.4 or higher:

Architecture: ppc-morphos >= 1.4.0

Package contains binaries for AmigaOS 3.9 and AmigaOS 4.0 or higher:

Architecture: m68k-amigaos >= 3.9.0; ppc-amigaos >= 4.0.0

Package contains binaries for AmigaOS 1.3 or lower:

Architecture: m68k-amigaos <= 1.3.3

To sum it up, the template for the architecture: field looks like this:

Architecture: ARCH1 [MODIFIER VERSION] [; ARCH2 [MODIFIER VERSION] ... ]

Final note: Although it is allowed, we do not encourage putting several binaries for different architectures into one and the same archive - if possible, create a separate archive for each architecture. A good example would be Frank Wille's Quake port.

Replaces:

Here you can specify files that should be replaced by your upload. Give full path, Unix wildcards are allowed in the filename. Examples:

Replaces: biz/patch/PageStreamPatch1.lha
Replaces: biz/patch/PageStreamPatch*

You can specify several files here, separated by semicolons. You do not need to specify this field if you are going to overwrite an existing package which has the same name as your current upload.

Requires:

Other Aminet archives that your upload needs to work, with full path. Example:

Requires: util/libs/mui38usr.lha

Also name memory and chipset requirements here.

Version:

The version number of your upload. Don't use version numbers in file names if possible.

Distribution:

There are two legal values for this field, "NoCD" and "Aminet" - do not specify anything else here. With "Distribution: NoCD", you make sure that your upload will not be distributed on the CDs or DVDs created by the Aminet team. With "Distribution: Aminet" you restrict distribution of your upload to Aminet (including Aminet CDs and other media), i.e. you stop other groups from redistributing it.

Kurz:

This is the German version of Short: (see above).