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#1 2014-07-23 23:24:09

Proinsias
Member
From: Glasgow
Registered: 2013-08-19
Posts: 120

dotfiles, opensource, sharing & etiquette

After a year or so of using Arch as my main os, where I was previously using OSX, I'm starting to appreciate having not only the software I like but also configuring it to my whims. I set up a github account a while back but have only started using it recently now that I've been through, and using, a few systems. I elected to spend a while working with default configs, then slowly started modifying them once I'd got a handle on the basic fuctionality. I've now started looking at other peoples dotfiles, and either copying chunks or using them whole and then editing, merging etc.

I didn't really think about pulling a dotfile off the Arch forums, github or elsewhere, using what I like and deleting anything I didn't, or taking bits from here there and everywhere and ending up with a fairly, or totally, comment free dotfile that makes me happy. Since I've started using github I'm thinking this information is public and I'm using stuff that others have created, I'm benefitting from, and giving no acknowledgement.

I see the various licenses on software I use but dotfiles have left me feeling a little odd now I'm apreciating github. The most pertinent and recent exampe is downloading Jasonwryan's dotfiles as an archive, unpacking them and having a field day, thanks Jason.  Using github I realised I was uploading entire, well crafted, dotfiles and hacking away much of the code and comments.

I want to keep my dotfiles fairly minimal but I'm a little concerned, now that my dotfiles are public on githib, using other peoples code without any aknowledgement. Does anyone care, and if so can I/should I reference my sources without including comments in my dotfiles?

Last edited by Proinsias (2014-07-23 23:25:39)

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#2 2014-07-23 23:33:53

jasonwryan
Forum & Wiki Admin
From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 18,798
Website

Re: dotfiles, opensource, sharing & etiquette

Where I have borrowed from others dotfiles (like Thayer's tmux.conf) I make an effort to credit them. Even if it is only a small part of the total config, but it fulfills an important function, then I will acknowledge that.

I'm sure that I haven't been able to record every instance of where I have been able to use someone else's work or ideas for my own benefit, but in making an effort I hope that a) any omissions are seen as inadvertent, and b) others are encouraged to be just as generous acknowledging authorship where they can.

If you don't want to comment the files: you could always add credits to a README or Acknowledgements file.

I'm pleased you had a field day: that's what they are there for. smile


Arch + dwm   •   Mercurial repos  •   Github

Registered Linux User #482438

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#3 2014-07-23 23:54:12

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,428

Re: dotfiles, opensource, sharing & etiquette

I use comments in my dotfiles to describe more complex functions, e.g. what each of the positional parameters or switches means and to record the url where I found it and username of the author.
I'm keeping my dotfiles to myself for now, but a few extra lines won't hurt. If someone doesn't like the comments, they can even easily remove them wholesale.

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#4 2014-07-24 00:07:32

Proinsias
Member
From: Glasgow
Registered: 2013-08-19
Posts: 120

Re: dotfiles, opensource, sharing & etiquette

Extra lines were hurting, and I was removing them wholesale. I'm now thinking a few extra lines of comments might benefit me & others. Thanks for the input.

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