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Re: Admintool/config tool

On Fri, 3 Oct 1997, Jason Gunthorpe wrote:

> On Sat, 4 Oct 1997, Craig Sanders wrote:
> > On Fri, 3 Oct 1997, Jason Gunthorpe wrote:
> > 
> > > I'm looking for any information about what the AdminTool/ConfigTool group
> > > is doing. I'm especially interested in any configuration file format or
> > > standard that was decided on.. (Ie I need a configuration file(s) for
> > > deity)
> > 
> >     - the config database is, at the moment, based on dcfgtool. a simple
> >       text file database.  advantage of this is that it can be manipulated
> >       with command line tools, from gui front-ends, and from vi or other
> >       text editor.
> Can you tell me more about dcfgtool? Is it just a simple key=value system
> with 'sections' provided by the file system? 

dcfgtool is just a simple set of tools to work with a key=value text
file database. 

$ dpkg -s dcfgtool
Package: dcfgtool
Status: install ok installed
Priority: extra
Section: admin
Installed-Size: 29
Maintainer: Andreas Jellinghaus <aj@debian.org>
Version: 0.1
Depends: libc5 (>= 5.4.0-0)
Description: small database for config values. uses text files.
 - test files (so you can read them and change them with an editor)
 - path variables (like "network/device/eth0").
 - written in c (no overhead with interpreters).

> How does it handle comments in the config files and changing of values
> in the files, 

it doesn't handle any of these. it's purpose is to store and retrieve
config values, that's all.  Some of these values can be used to generate
config files, some can be used in /etc/init.d scripts (e.g. as booleans
to decide whether to start some daemon or strings to define which
command line options get passed to a daemon)

comments in the config files are handled in the template by the
"verbatim output rule": if it's not markup language, it gets output

if you change the values in the *real* config file and then re-run the
generator script, then you lose your changes. if you want your changes
to be permanent then you change them in either the template or in the
database or both.

> is there a C lib, etc.. 

it's written in C. i don't think it's got to the stage of having a
shared lib and programmer's api yet.

parsing the db files in perl or other languages is easy too. i didn't
bother reading them directly in my script, i just parsed the output of
'dcfgtool --export'.

> How about multiple layers, like deity/ftp-method (presumably,
> /etc/config/deity/ftp-method) and so on..

not sure what you mean by 'multiple layers'.

> Ps, with Deity we are developing a Text/GUI widget set that might be
> interesting to the admin tool group..

have you considered basing it on the GTK used by Gimp?  

GTK useful for more than just the gimp and is now being used as the
basis for a truly free (as in Debian definition of free) KDE-like
system called GNOME ("GNU Object Model Environment" or something like
that)...similar idea to KDE but without being tied to a non-free GUI


craig sanders
networking consultant                  Available for casual or contract
temporary autonomous zone              system administration tasks.

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