Tom McAdam

early spring clean your dotfiles

Don’t wait until spring to do your cleaning! The holiday period is a great time to be tidying things up. For many years I didn’t really spend much time maintaining my dotfiles because, jumping across a number of hosts as I do, it was difficult to keep track of changes and merge them into one canonical set. For the uninitiated, dotfiles store the settings of Unix programs, tools and shells.

Keeping them in source control in some fashion was on my to-do list for quite a while. I finally got around to it a while back when I forked Zach Holman‘s dotfiles.

why these?

I like the approach he’s taken with configuration split functionally by directory. So, there’s a git directory with a file containing aliases, one for completions, and so on. This means you don’t end up with difficult to manage single huge zshrc file with bits and bobs strewn all over it.

Being split out like this also makes it easier to share so others can benefit from his and others’ personalisations, while being able to pick and mix as they see fit. With a single zshrc this would be nigh on impossible.

It’s been great to have a consistent and customised environment across all the hosts I use regularly, and I’m pleased to see others have even forked my configuration. So, if you’re looking for something to do in this lull between Christmas and 2016, why not take the opportunity to do the same?

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