Another dotfiles manager

martin f krafft madduck at
Thu Mar 11 13:50:01 CET 2010

also sprach Pavel Avgustinov <pavel at> [2010.03.11.1322 +0100]:
> >From what I can see, the host-specific linking (i.e. prefer
> >a file with suffix "__foo" on host foo).

I wonder whether this isn't something for VCS branches anyway

> > Similarly, I wonder why people use symlinks instead of
> > hardlinks. Sure thing, hardlinks are brittle, but if the manager
> > keeps track anyway, it might just as well recreate hardlinks as
> > necessary.
> I think the killer point is that you can remove a file from the
> .config directory and detect dangling symlinks, while you wouldn't
> be able to tell a dangling hard link apart from an untracked
> config file.

Oh, but there might be other dangling symlinks, so to discern those
managed from those external, the tool needs to keep track in a state
file anyway.

> Anyway, one feature that my custom-baked scripts provide which
> isn't present (I think -- happy to be corrected!) in either of the
> dotfile-manager solutions is merging multiple VCS-controlled files
> into one.

Having a .d solution integrated is indeed nice, I use it extensively
in some repos, but I currently rely on custom Makefiles, e.g.

The problem is of course that the actual config files then become
caches, and it's happened that I forget and lose changes that way.
Oh well. The true solution is either 

- a filesystem layer change allowing read() access to a directory
  (you would lose the ability to filter files like run-parts)
- a layer which uses e.g. xattrs to define those filters
- a way to tie a program call to a file, so that if the file is
  read, the program is run instead (The Hurd can do that)
- adding includedir or similar directives to all the applications.

I think the latter is going well, but it'll take a while still. For
SSH, I've requested the feature for authorized_keys.d nearly two
years ago:

and similar other requests exist.

martin | |
only by counting could humans demonstrate
their independence of computers.
            -- douglas adams, "the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy"
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