Help us make usable IDE/git install instructions

We want our workshops to be more usable than before, and that means aligning with best practices.

February 29, 2024 - Richard Darst

At the current CodeRefinery meeting, we had a session on installation instructions. It was clear that the instructions, and really everything we teach, needs to be tied to what is easy to install and set up these days (not just because it's easy to teach, but because if it's easy to install that's what most people use). Help us to figure out what current best practices are.

We've mostly taught git from the command line so far. That's going to change when we go web-first (to explain concepts). But, as one example, when looking at ways to simply command line linking, there are lots of modern tools such as the "git credential manager", which make linking remotes more automatic than SSH keys. IDEs make it easy to clone, commit, and push. We should use all the modern work - but what to recommend? There are so many operating systems and IDEs, we can't know them all.

Our question to the world

Imagine someone new to scientific computing, using your operating system. They aren't a developer, they are a scientist (broadly defined) or similar, trying to get some other stuff done. What do you recommend to them to install and use? Are there special instructions on configuring it?

Usability is more important than perfection here. You want them to get started without major problems, so that they can be happy now and be motivated to learn more later. You aren't there to teach them every step of the way. They should have some editor to use, git, git authentication to Github, be able to edit files, add them, commit them, and get them to appear on Github? They should be able to access the shell some way, but it doesn't have to be the main feature (an editor's terminal is OK, as long as it probably works with Git, including whatever config and auth is needed).

We want some common solutions, even if not perfectly free/open source (though of course that is preferable). We will likely recommend VSCode/VSCodium since it's most used by our communities, but would like to provide instructions for other IDSs as well.

How to respond

We recommend to respond to one our social medias or Github repos:

See also


CodeRefinery is a project within the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC). NeIC is an organisational unit under NordForsk.


Privacy policy

Follow us