TidyFork: Cleanup Outdated Forks and Old Starred Repositories

As a developer, I love Github and use it to not only contain my public and private development projects, but also follow other interesting projects. Sometimes I’ll fork a project if I want to contribute to it or star a repository if I am interested in using it now or later.

I joined Github on August 18, 2010 so I have been an active member of Github for seven years now.

In that time I have forked and starred quite a few repositories. I am generally pretty good at deleting unused forks, but I still had a few that dated back by quite a few years.

When it comes to stars however, my development skills and preferences have changed in the past seven years. In 2010 I was still doing a lot of PHP work, I also dabbled in Ruby/Ruby on Rails as well as Python and so on over the years.

At the time of writing this, I have 454 starred repositories which equates to 16 pages of repositories when I view them in the stars tab of my profile. I know developers who have three times that number.

Deleting old forks is a painful experience. You have to enter the name of the repository to confirm you want to delete it and confirm your password. Imagine having 200 forks accumulated over the years and having to delete them one-by-one, it would probably take you a full day at least.

Unstarring repositories is a little more straightforward, but if you have starred a lot of repositories it can be tedious going through and unstarring them.

This is why I created TidyFork. Originally it was just for cleaning old and outdated forks you’ve forgotten about, then I expanded it to also allow you to cleanup old starred repositories.

Running TidyFork over my account yielded my first ever starred repository was Modernizr. Other repositories listed include jQuery plugins and grid systems, PHP libraries, API bridges and pretty much anything else you can think of.

The goal is to expand this tool even further, allowing you to specify criteria and being able to automatically delete forks and starred repositories. At the moment you have to manually choose what you want to delete or unstar, everything is ordered by when it was last updated for forks and for stars, the earliest star.

I built TidyFork mostly for myself, but it might be valuable enough that others might get some use out of it.

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