Dotfiles, a big mistake - Old school stuff

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jkl
Long time nixers
Rob Pike, 2013 (archived copy):

Quote: I’m pretty sure the concept of a hidden file was an unintended consequence. It was certainly a mistake.

I tend to agree. It makes no sense to have user configuration files which are hidden by default. I guess that all developers on nixers could learn from it. I certainly will.
venam
Administrators
I also agree with the author.
$HOME/cfg or $HOME/lib already have equivalents as .config or .local (by default) so why not put all the dot files there like the freedesktop recommends and use $XDG_CONFIG_HOME as "cfg" so that it's not a hidden file.

Moreover, we also see a lot of people, including myself, that uses symbolinc links with those dot files, pointing to a directory where they are all there, centrally managing the important ones. It's redundant at this point, but how are we going to change hundred of thousands of applications writing dot files to the home directory, the harm is already done.
jkl
Long time nixers
There is some probability that the applications you use today will be replaced at some point.

Both .config and .local are hidden directories as well, for no good reason at all. Replacing dot files with dot directories does not solve the problem of having perfectly legal applications trying to hide stuff from you. Using $HOME/cfg (or something) as your $XDG_CONFIG_HOME would indeed solve it - with a bonus advantage of seeing which applications use hard-coded configuration paths (and could be filed an issue about that).
acg
Members
Even so there are projects that simply won't implement XDG standards, like `tmux` where it has been discussed multiple times and the only change has been adding a hardcoded check to `~/.config/tmux/tmux.conf` instead of using $XDG_CONFIG_HOME .
https://github.com/tmux/tmux/commit/15d7...ac13b57198
venam
Administrators
(09-07-2020, 11:57 AM)acg Wrote: Even so there are projects that simply won't implement XDG standards, like `tmux` where it has been discussed multiple times

It's not even limited to small projects, it applies to big ones too. Check Firefox, the issue has been opened 13 years ago. You would have expected this to have been implemented by now.
jkl
Long time nixers
Mozilla has come a long way from being a hacker community to a large corporation that doesn’t care.
budRich
Long time nixers
agree. dotfiles are stupid. I think it should be possible to set some kind of hidden flag, but it should ofc not be enabled on normal configuration files and very much not by prefixing the filename with a . .

I do something like this:
Code:
ln -s ~/.config ~/dot
ln -s ~/git/dots/i3/config ~/.config/i3/config

I usually have show hidden files turned off in my filemanager. I wish ~ would be /usr/bud , and i wish ~/etc (/usr/bud/etc) would merge with /etc and all configuration files and probably also example files and "extra" documentation could be stored in /etc . And to those who say "this can never be fixed". I know some old "master" branches and "blacklists" who disagree.
jkl
Long time nixers
I had lost my Emacs dotfiles once because my previously used version control system does not add them by default and I noticed it too late. I should have done that much earlier.
z3bra
Grey Hair Nixers
Quote: i wish ~/etc (/usr/bud/etc) would merge with /etc

It's possible already. Check out Union FS or OverlayFS. It is not as good as Plan9 bind mounts per namespace, but can be just as useful on a single-man machine (where your whole system is in fact, your namespace).