... bootstrapping dot files
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A looping set of scripts to allow many ... repos to play along nicely.

This should go high up in the ~/.../conf, so that its dot-files take precedence over the other repos (but, don't worry - the others will still get sourced. In fact, that's the whole point of boot-dots!)

By convention, repos that are designed to be used after boot-dots are all named *-dots.

[Note: Throughout this document, we refer to the files as being in ~/.../, but actually it's configurable, becoming $DOTDOTDOT_ROOT.]


The easiest way to understand how to make your own setup is to mimic http://github.com/ouicode/rkingy-dots-conf

Note that the system is still in flux, and we already have plans on how to make it better. Still, if you copy what is done there, it should continue to work as we revise our process.


There are some ... tools that help with both scripting and interactive shelling. They are all named ...<something>, so you can tab-complete to see what is available.

These tools are, from the vantage point of ..., all "opt-in" - unless you source ~/.../lib/___, they stay out of your way. But, when you're using boot-dots, you're definitely opted-in (that is, both .bashrc and .zshenv source ~/.../lib/basics).

Let's look at a few of the functions:

  • ...src (a.k.a., ...repos) - cd to the ~/.../src directory for working with the *-dots repos. You can give it an arg that is the name of the repo (and you can even omit the -dots part.)
  • ...each - cd to each repo then eval the given string. It's functional programming for dotfiles! Can I get a w00t-w00t?
  • Tracing - There are several handy functions that echo either invariably or only when ...traceon has been called. Especially useful are ...traceq and ...tracex (louder than ...traceq) in debugging init processes. The rest are in ~/.../lib/tracefuncs)
  • ...source - Same as the source builtin but with trace-awareness.
  • ...sourceif - Calls ...source, but only if the file exists. Beware that this can quietly skip over missing parts, so you might have to ...trace* to figure out what's going on, sometimes.
  • ...sourcedircontents - Source all files in the given dir.
  • $PATH manipulators - ..path-prepend, ...path-append, ...path-remove, and ...path-list

Also, since ~/.../lib/basics ends up making these vars available:

  • $DOTDOTDOT_ROOT - usually is ~/...
  • $DOTDOTDOT_ORDER - a list of the repos in accordance with .../conf sequence. Remember that, since the lower files in the list are sourced later, their specific parts can override the previous files.
  • $SHELLNAME - The shortname of a shell, so zsh or bash. Traditionally you have to check $BASH_VERSION or $ZSH_VERSION in your scripts, but this gives you a handier token.

Zsh Sequence

In zsh, the init sequence is kind of interesting. For the full story try: xterm -e 'man zsh | less -p STARTUP/SHUTDOWN' (And also: the Zsh Startup Files Intro.)

Here is a cheat-sheet:

    zsh -l            zsh -i              zsh -c          zsh -f
(login shell)   (interactive shell)     (scripting)      (no-rcs)
      ↓                  ↓                   ↓
   .zshenv            .zshenv            .zshenv
      ↓                  ↓
   .zprofile          .zshrc

Now, boot-dots makes this system even more "interesting" by checking for the above files in all -dots repos, plus adding the ~/.zsh dir to facilitate organization (and nice, atomic names).

The following dirs correspond to the above files: ~/.zsh/env/ ~/.zsh/rc/ ~/.zsh/profile/ ~/.zsh/login/

So you can create my-dots/.zsh/rc/my-aptly-named-thing and trust that it gets sourced as part of boot-dots/.zshrc. If you need something to happen early or late relative to the others, you can always prefix with 00-___ or zzz-___.

Additionally, there is a .sh/ dir that is similar to .zsh/rc, but is for things that would work in both bash and zsh (which is most things, so it's good to try for that).

... itself comes with some tracing tools to sourt this out, a bit. Look in ~/.../lib/tracefuncs (which is avilable by default if you are using the boot-dots repo) for the ...trace function.

Bash Sequence

rking doesn't really care about Bash, so he hasn't set this up in its entirety.

Pair Up

Once you get on board with boot-dots, you can much more easily work with other programmers' favorite configs. This is the main reason behind this system, in fact.

The goal is to make it so you can toss in a buddy's dotfiles repo into your list, then run ... install -s and (hopefully) away you go!

To pop his stuff back out, run ... remove, take his entry out, then do ... install -s again. ¡Muy caliente!


Then, the next level is spinning up VMs using your config.

Check out: http://github.com/PairUp/pairup#readme