blog What’s in a (folder) name

Quite a long time ago (long enough ago I do not remember the original source) I read a blog post or poll about various folder names on the computer. I recently remembered it and thought about writing it down.


I believe when I was in university, they had us using Eclipse as an IDE to write Java code. By default, Eclipse defaulted to a ~/Projects folder, so for many years that has been my default directory for my own projects. When I moved to web development and PHP and then later into Python, I used other editors like TextMate or Atom but I kept using ~/Projects for any of my coding projects.


At some point, I wanted to keep downloaded code that I was just using, separate from the code I was writing myself, so I started using a ~/Sources directory in addition to store code I had downloaded to use in other places.


After a while, I decided I wanted to break things out a bit more so I created a ~/References directory for code I downloaded just to read (for example downloading Django or some of the Prometheus projects when I had a question). This was also influenced by the alfred-repos plugin since I often use that to open projects, and having the extra bit of distinction in the path helps know what folder I’m opening.


Many years ago I discovered wakatime which is a neat service to keep track of what you spend your time working on. For my local environment it’s easy enough to point it at ~/Projects but for work stuff, I was more wary of accidentally sending things to the cloud. I started using a ~/Code directory on work computers so that open source work could be recorded by work only projects would not be.

Default Directories

Since I have been primarily using MacOS for the past few years, I also use a few of the default directories. ~/Documents is for random non coding projects, ~/Pictures is for some misc photos and ~/Desktop is mostly for anything temporary that hasn’t been filed away.