I have been using GitHub for some time, but I’ve always been a little confused by the meaning of badges/shields on repo’s readme. I know they offer some metadata about the repo, so I guess my question is more philosophical about when and why to use them.


They’re a nice quick reference for items that matter to some groups or to reflect the status of the repo at a given time. For example:

This is from one of my repos. The first is the latest version published to the package manager (in case I forget to update the docs). The second is the link to the docs. The third I believe I added before GitHub added the auto-detecting License tab in the repo header. And the fourth is a status of how “clean” the code is. None of them are terribly important really … but it is a nice quick-reference. It is a compact way to deliver a bunch of tidbits of information about the current status of the project.

I’m not sure if that clears anything up but I hope that helps!