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Some overall development goals. Kitsch Prompt should be:

  • crazy fast - no one wants to wait around for a prompt to render
  • secure

Crazy Fast

Kitsch Prompt should be fast. We compare very favorably to starship prompt in terms of speed.

We do a lot of tricks to try to optimize performance. For example, when in a node.js project, we show the current version of node and npm. Running node --version takes about 23 milliseconds, which isn't too bad, but npm --version takes over 300ms, which is way too long. So first, we don't even fetch the npm version unless it's actually going to be shown. Second, we cache the result: we stat the npm command - if the command is in the same location, and is the same size, and the modified date of the file hasn't change, then npm --version is probably not going to return something different, so we store all these values in a file-based cache. Then the next time we need the npm version, we can just stat the file, make sure nothing has changed, and show the version from the cache.

One place we are currently a bit slow is our handling of git repos. We run the git executable in a child process for some operations, like getting counts of modified files, or getting the ahead/behind counts. It would be nice to move these to a pure GO implementation, or see if we can cache these results. (Although even so, we still compare very favorably to starship).


A feature that might be nice to add is the ability to customize the prompt for a specific folder, perhaps by reading a ".kitsch.yaml" file from the current folder. When we do such a thing, we need to be very careful - it would be very easy to clone a git repo, cd into the folder, and run a custom prompt that does something malicious. Users should never be afraid to "cd" into a folder.