On 2 Jun 1998, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> >>"Craig" == Craig Sanders <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> Craig> i am also not sure that editing the config files directly is a
> Craig> good thing. in fact, i think it is prone to error, with
> Craig> potentially disastrous results (the parser would either place
> Craig> arbitrary restrictions on what can be done in the config file
> Craig> or would make mistakes). IMO, the config files should be
> Craig> generated from a plain text template (i.e. the config file
> Craig> plus some markup language), merging in the config values
> Craig> stored in a config database.
> I was going along, somnolently agreeing with your comments about the
> necessity of preserving comments, and then I hit this paragraph (and I
> hope I misunderstand it).
i think you misunderstand me.
i was referring to a _program_ (such as linuxconf) editing the files
directly as a bad thing because it is likely to conflict with the right
of a human to edit it with the editor of diVInity.
> Who do you think should not be editing the config files?
linuxconf. or any other configuration assistant tool.
config files belong to a human. the system admin or their delegate.
if a program edits it too, it should do it in a way which does not
interfere at all with that human's right to put whatever s/he desires in
the file. if it can not guarantee that 100% then it should not edit the
> There are times, especially in a crisis, where I tend to revert to my
> instinctive (and posssibly atavistic) direct manulation of the files
> the program reads (edit/save/hup/edit/save ...) and only when mail has
> stopped bouncing to the four corners of the earth that I backpactch
> sendmail.cf to sendmail.mc (and even add a cute little m4 HACK if I
> have time).
me too (at least in general principle...not specifically sendmail.cf but
many other things)
sometimes this is the only way that you can get something working - and
this is precisely why hand-edited changes must - repeat MUST - take
not abiding by this fundamental rule is the fatal flaw in every single
configuration tool i have looked at. They all make this mistake, which
is why they are all inadequate and fundamentally flawed.
> Don't you dare take editing the config files in the one true editor
> away from me ;-).
i have no intention of preventing you from using vi :-)
you can even use other editors if you prefer the blasphemous bloat of
eighty-megabytes-and-constantly-swapping (which i must admit, makes a
damn nice newsreader with gnus, especially if you use the viper module
to get decent key bindings).
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- Re: Linuxconf
- From: "Rev. Joseph Carter" <email@example.com>