As a short preface, in the *nix world config files are often referred to as dot files (dots for short). This is because on *nix systems config files are usually hidden files which are denoted by their names beginning with a period (dot). Hence the name DotShare.
DotShare was a project with the goal of solving a problem that I and many others often ran into in the world of *nix customization.
More often then not dot files could be found in 2 places:
- *nix distribution’s forums.
- GitHub (or similar) repos.
The problem with the first item on that list was that every distribution has it’s own forum with a separate thread for every app. So when you multiply the number of popular distributions by the number of apps you’re interested in, this quickly turns into a nightmare when trying to find interesting new ways of toying with your desktop.
Not only is it a pain to keep track of all these threads, spanning numerous forums, it was becoming commonplace to start hosting all of your dot files on sites like GitHub in your own personal dots repo. The problem with this was that searching for a specific app’s configs on such sites was only slightly more convenient than looking for a needle in a haystack.
With the fractured state everything was in, the obvious first step was creating a central location for the sole purpose of sharing dot files. Once everything was located in one place, the main focus was on usability and discovery as these were the major hurdles with the current systems.
DotShare was coded over the period of 3 months, over which I learned Python and coded it from the ground up on the Flask microframework. I also handled deployment once the codebase was ready to be launched.