Entries tagged dotfiles

Related tags: chronicle, debian, dotfile-manager, free-time, mail-scanning, software, todo, tools, utilities.

It would be nice if we could record which files populate or read

Saturday, 1 January 2011

It would be really neat if there were some tool which recorded which dotfiles an application read, used, or created.

As an example emacs uses .emacs, but won't create it. However firefox will create and fill ~/.mozilla if it isn't present, and links will create ~/.links2.

What would we do with that data? I'm not sure off the top of my head, but I think it is interesting to collect regardless. Perhaps a simple tool such as apt-file to download the data and let you search:

who-creates ~/.covers
who-creates ~/.dia

Obviously the simple use is to purge user-data when matching packages are removed - e.g. dpkg-posttrigger hook. But that's a potentially dangerous thing to do.

Anyway I'm just pondering - I expect that over time applications will start switching to using "centralised" settings such as ~/.gconf2 etc.

In the menatime I've started cleaning up ~/ on my own machines - things like ~/.spectemurc, ~/.grip, etc.

ObQuote: What a long sword. I like that in a man - Blood of the Samurai (Don't be tempted; awful film.)

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Poppa's got a brand new bang.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Recently I posted a brief tool for managing "dotfile collections". This tool was the rationalisation of a couple of adhoc scripts I already used, and was a quick hack written in nasty bash.

I've updated my tool so that it is coded in slightly less nasty Perl. You can find the dotfile-manager repository online now.

This tool works well with my dotfile repository, and the matching, but non-public dotfiles-private repository.

I'm suspect that this post might flood a couple of feed agregators, because I've recently my chronicle blog compiler with a new release. This release has updated all the supplied themes/templates such that they validate strictly, and as part of that I had to edit some of my prior blog entries to remove bogus HTML markup. (Usually simple things suck as failing to escape & characters correctly, or using "[p][/P]" due to sloppy shift-driving.)

I should probably update the way I post entries, and use markdown or textile instead of manually writing HTML inside Emacs, but the habit has been here for too long. Even back when I used wordpress I wrote my entries in HTML...

Finally one other change in the most recent chronicle release is that the "mail-scanning.com theme" has been removed, as the service itself is no longer available. But all is not lost.

ObFilm: Blade II

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I've got a sick friend. I need her help.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

There was a recent post by Martin Meredith asking about dotfile management.

This inspired me to put together a simple hack which allows several operations to be carried out:

dotfile-manager update [directory]

Update the contents of the named directory to the most recent version, via "hg pull" or HTTP fetch.

This could be trivially updated to allow git/subversion/CVS to be used instead.

(directory defaults to ~/.dotfiles/ if not specified.)

dotfile-manager link [directory]

For each file in the named directory link _foo to ~/.foo.

(directory defaults to ~/.dotfiles/ if not specified.)

e.g. directory/_screenrc will be linked to from ~/.screenrc. But hostnames count too! So you can create directory/_screenrc.gold and that will be the target of ~/.screenrc on the host gold.my.flat

dotfile-manager tidy

This removes any dangling ~/.* symlinks.

dotfile-manager report

Report on any file ~/.* which isn't a symlink - those files might be added in the future.

Right now that lets me update my own dotfiles via:

dotfile-manager update ~/.dotfiles
dotfile-manager update ~/.dotfiles-private

dotfile-manager link ~/.dotfiles
dotfile-manager link ~/.dotfiles-private

It could be updated a little more, but it already supports profiles - if you assume "profile" means "input directory".

To be honest it probably needs to be perlified, rather than being hoky shell script. But otherwise I can see it being useful - much more so than my existing solution which is ~/.dotfiles/fixup.sh inside my dotfiles repository.

ObFilm: Forever Knight

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Didn't I kill you already?

Saturday, 16 August 2008

One of the sites that I no longer use, but have fond memories of is dotfiles.com.

It had some pretty coarse catagories and allowed you to view other peoples configuration files. (I have no idea how the upload worked. Probably email submission I'd guess.)

I know that my my own dotfiles have benefited from seeing other peoples snippets.

Sadly it seems that the last upload to their site was back in 2006.

With all the Web2.0 lust around it would seem to be a perfect candidate for reinvention.

We need:

  • The ability to create/delete an account.
  • The ability to upload a file (<100k say)
  • The ability to tag all files with multiple arbitrary labels.
  • Possibly the ability to comment / rate / vote on submissions.
  • The ability to flag uploads as being "spam"

Somebody competant could probably knock up a reasonable hack in a day or two. I guess we have some sites out there already like DZone snippets, snipplr, & swik, but none of those are exactly the same thing.

Consider it my challenge to the world - just don't tempt me. I've got enough to do as it is.

ObQuote: Hellboy

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