Kactus

Design version control without changing your tools

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#4 Product of the DayJuly 17, 2017

Kactus is an app to unlock true version control for your design without changing your existing tools. It takes advantage of the new sketch file format and transforms them into a format that git can understand. By doing so, we can close the gap between designers and developers by using a common platform: Github.

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Mathieu DutourMakerHiring@mathieudutour · Software Engineer @Enki
Thanks for the hunt @chrismessina. I'm thrilled to be on ProductHunt today. Kactus is an app to unlock true version control for your design without changing your existing tools. It takes advantage of the new sketch file format and transforms them into a format that git can understand. By doing so, we can close the gap between designers and developers by using a common platform: Github. I just published a longer post on Medium (https://medium.com/kactus-io/unl...) if you’re interested in finding out more about why I'm building Kactus. I'd love to hear your guys' feedback!
Joshua Turner@heyjoshturner · Founder, Narro
Hey @mathieudutour - I'm going to carry over the comment I made on DesignerNews, I didn't realize you weren't the submitter over there until afterwards. So, I'm a bit concerned about this. This appears to be heavily built on the GitHub Desktop Client (https://desktop.github.com/), which in and of itself isn't a problem, but I wonder if releasing the software in a commercial environment would be. Also, less of an issue, is that the landing page appears to be largely copied from that same GitHub Desktop Client, even the icons. Which again, isn't earth shattering, it just feels very disingenuous when viewed all together. This of course isn't to say that real work didn't go into this project - I'd love to be able to bring proper version control into my sketch files without the addition of yet another tool.
Mathieu DutourMakerHiring@mathieudutour · Software Engineer @Enki
@heyjoshturner you are right, Kactus is a fork of GitHub Desktop. Its license is MIT so it’s perfectly fine to create a commercial project out of it. Kactus is also release under the MIT license
Joshua Turner@heyjoshturner · Founder, Narro
@mathieudutour Ah, I was looking at their EULA on their site (https://desktop.github.com/eula/), not the repo. The "Restrictions" block there definitely doesn't follow MIT, but I'd be willing to bet the license in the repo would supersede.
shawn roos@shawnroos · Making dat Product.
Im hugely interested in version control for product design. I've been using Abstract for months now with my small team, but this looks very interesting for teams who want to the design process to be inside Github. Question: does Kactus manage conflicts at an artboard level yet the way abstract does?
Chris MessinaHunter@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
@shawnroos great question — this seems like a super early version of the app, but might be a lighter approach than Abstract, and, as you mentioned, is focused on GitHub. @mathieudutour should be able to tell you more.
Mathieu DutourMakerHiring@mathieudutour · Software Engineer @Enki
@shawnroos yes, compared to Abstract, Kactus gives you access to the repo so you can collocate the code and the design (fun fact, the repo for kactus is actually a kactus repo) and put it on GitHub, bridging the gap between developers and designers. Kactus leverages the new format of the sketch files (https://medium.com/sketch-app-so...) and "deconstructs" them. I have a medium post coming where I'll explain all of this.
North McCormick@northmccormick · Creative Engineer, Soloist app developer
Exciting! This is a massive advancement in the field for sure. I can't wait to get my hands on it, I just need BitBucket support. I know a lot of very large companies who use only that. Is it in the roadmap to support it or something that one could do a PR for?
Mathieu DutourMakerHiring@mathieudutour · Software Engineer @Enki
@northmccormick Thanks! I'm not planning to add bitbucket support in the short term, I don't have enough bandwidth to disperse myself ;) But I'd be more than happy to accept a PR for it!
North McCormick@northmccormick · Creative Engineer, Soloist app developer
@mathieudutour I appreciate the transparency! I'll definitely be checking out the source later for that. Happy Monday
Sean PJPGR Doran@spjpgrd · Head of Design, Wiretap
Quick general question: I don't have a huge file right now to experiment, but does the new Sketch file format play nicely with Github? I've run into the file size limitation of 100 MB with Github in the past. https://help.github.com/articles...
Mathieu DutourMakerHiring@mathieudutour · Software Engineer @Enki
@spjpgrd The goal is not to track the sketch files themselves but the "deconstructed" version that Kactus produces. Your sketch file will be split into a lot of smaller files (1 for each layer) so there are no issues tracking them with git and GitHub!
Sean PJPGR Doran@spjpgrd · Head of Design, Wiretap
@mathieudutour 🙌 🙏 👏 Best news I've heard all day 👏 🙏 🙌
Paul Cotton@pwcotton · Creative Lead, One Education
"Without changing your design tools" macOS / Sketch only. As a Windows / Figma / Adobe user, I would need to change *all* of my design tools - so the tagline felt rather misleading.