The caretaker-in-a-project-house package

A Project House is a dedicated place in your file system to store digital projects. The caretaker application creates and maintains such a Project House. In particular, it can start a GUI server for very intuitive project management inside a browser window.

Caretaker in a Project House --- A higher-order operating system for digital project management

22:56 min

1. Resources

video tutorials (new!)
a couple of videos to explain the use and background.
is currently the primary source for information on how to understand project houses and the caretaker program.
is a news group dedicated to the Caretaker in a Project House and hosted by Google Groups. Please, feel free to participate and ask your questions, leave your comments and bug reports here.
The whole program is implemented as part of a comprehensive JavaScript library, the tofjs-full package. projecthouse.tof-doc.html is the documentation of the library module that contains the main implementation.

2. Installation

2.1. Installation and update

The whole thing runs on Node.js, a machine for JavaScript programs. So you really need to have that installed. (If you go to the Node.js website, you will be offered an easy download and installation for your particular computer.)

Next, you can install the caretaker command by calling

 npm install -g caretaker-in-a-project-house
(On UNIX-like machines this should be preceded by a sudo to gain administrator privileges. The global installation, caused by the -g option, makes sure that you can call caretaker from any point on your machine, and that is important.)

That should be all. You can check out if the installation succeeded by calling say

 caretaker version 
which should respond with a semver number, e.g.
When this works, everything is fine, we are done with all the installations and you can create your first Project House.

If you already installed it and you need an update to a newer version, just call

 npm install -g caretaker-in-a-project-house 

2.2. Creating a Project House

A Project House is a dedicated place in your file system where your projects are hosted. It has as sophisticated storage system and therefore, you cannot just create a directory yourself. You need to call

 caretaker init-house --dir=DIR 
instead, where DIR is the parent directory that holds the new Project House. If DIR is say /home/bob/Desktop/ on a UNIX-like system, or C:\Users\bob\Desktop\ on a Windows machine, you call
 caretaker init-house --dir=/home/bob/Desktop 
 caretaker init-house --dir=C:\Users\bob\Desktop 
respectively. That creates a new directory /home/bob/Desktop/ProjectHouse/ or C:\Users\bob\Desktop\ProjectHouse\, which is the root of the new Project House.

2.3. Running the GUI server

After the creation of a Project House you can start the GUI (Graphical User Interface) server to conveniently create and manage all your projects within a browser window. This server needs to run in the background and is started by the

 caretaker start-server --root=ROOT --port=PORT 
command, where ROOT is the Project House root and PORT an (ephemeral) port number. The --port=PORT option is optional, indeed, and defaults to port number 55555 (five times five), if you omit it. For example, if we want the GUI to run on our previously created Project House, we can call
 caretaker start-server --root=/home/bob/Desktop/ProjectHouse 
on a UNIX-like machine and
 caretaker start-server --root=C:\Users\bob\Desktop 
The server is then running and it keeps running. So leave the command line or terminal, open a browser and insert the following address:
That should respond with the start page of the caretaker GUI.

Now, everything is running. For more information on the actual use and management of your projects, see the handbook. If you like to communicate about the program, please use the dedicated forum.

3. Versions

The most recent version is 1.1.4

Version 1.1.4

published on January 18, 2017.

The files

This version has only three files:


The whole program relies on a library of JavaScript files. In version 1.0.0 these files were all included in the package. But in this version 1.1.4, the library was bundled an published as a separate package tofjs-full and that was then the sole requirement for this package.

Version 1.0.0

published on November 26, 2016.

The files and folders

The caretaker-in-a-project-house package genuinely comprises these 3 file plus 15 more script files in a separate map:


This version 1.0.0 is the initial release on


This whole version did not work. After an install with

npm install -g caretaker-in-a-project-house
a subsequent call of the
command only complained that it couldn't find all the necessary files.