by Matt Brennan

Taking a flamethrower to my Github repositories

Two hours ago, I had just shy of 300 repositories on Github. As of now, I have less than 90, and I’m not even sure I want to keep all those. So what up with that?

The rub

I grew disgruntled. By far my most-starred repository is Elessar: 756 lines of terrible jQuery-dependent UI code, written for a job I no longer have, that’s poorly optimised, probably thrashes the DOM once a frame, and makes me sad any time I go near it. After that: three repositories that seemed like a good idea at the time but have really quite thoroughly been superseded. And a kinda-okay Node REPL I don’t use.

This got me thinking. Why on earth do I have 300 repositories? Some date back to the heady days of 2011, when E4X and Rhino and terrible whitespace were my thang. At this point, it’s nothing but a digital extension of my hoarding-as-nostalgia habit. So out came the flamethrower —

Well, for one thing, I definitely don’t need the hundred or so repositories that I forked to make a Pull Request god knows when, made the Pull Request, had the Pull Request accepted, and then did nothing with. In fact, it makes me wonder if this can be automated; every month or so, delete any forked repositories that have no open Pull Requests. Either that, or be diligent in deleting my forks. (ugh. diligence.)

I also had a bunch of repositories that I’d evidently created having had a great idea (and, more importantly, a great idea for a name), and proceeded to write absolutely no code or leave any evidence of what the idea was. Thanks, Past Matt.

That left the historical curiosities. The thousands of lines of code that were a good idea at the time, and maybe a handful of people used that once, but now just serve to remind me how not to write code. This includes everything I wrote before 2014, everything I’ve written in LiveScript, everything I’ve written pertaining to Gusto or Livewire, everything that once ran on Rhino, the handful of Go (ugh) and Vala (what) that I wrote.

Of course, I’m still a hoarder. Past Matt would never forgive me for just outright deleting everything he wrote. So I’ve created an archive (or perhaps it’s more of a vault), and transferred the repositories there. Put a big old disclaimer against any expectation of maintenance or function or competence.

There it can rot.