Tools the Parse config files (was Re: Linuxconf)
Ok, I see their has been a lot of talk on if the way linuxconf does its
thing is good for debian.
first things first, a user doesn't have to use linuxconf. If a user wants
to edit the file by hand they can use the existing tools that we have. Even
those aren't perfect, if I edit my sendmail.cf by hand, then run
sendmailconfig, I can blow away what I just added. I believe we have to aim
for a tool that will make most peoples lives easier in admin'ing their
system, while not taking away any of the functionality of editing the files
directly. i.e. The packages will work and be configurable easily without
linuxconf, but if you use linuxconf you are agreeing to a compromise of some
sort, in that we can't guarantee that if you are an "edit the file directly"
kind of person, that linuxconf will be able to parse what you wrote.
-We will work towards being able to parse what you have written, but we
aren't aiming linuxconf at you.
-If their is something that you what to do that linuxconf can't do, file a
bug report and we'll try to add that to linuxconf
Also, linuxconf shouldn't be used to configure a user's personal
information, such as .bashrc, .pinerc, those should be left to either the
program itself like in pine, or to a package like the dotfile generator for
a program like bash or procmail. Essentially, for system wide daemons and
servers, use linuxconf, for user level tools use the examples I gave for
bash/pine. Something like cron falls in the middle, and I'd be willing to
put that in linuxconf as cron can be both configured on the user level and
For the fact that we would need to write a parser for all our conf files. I
think that might be overkill, as many of our conf files are probably just
some files with a variable or two. i.e. the structure of the config file is
constant just with a change in the "variables". It shouldn't be too hard to
set up a example linuxconf module that shows how to set up a simple form
that accepts input and place them into the proper slots in a model config
file. This example module could be easily modfiable for all the appropriate
uses. Other things are obviously more complicated, but that might knock off
a big chunk of our conf files.
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