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Re: XML as a standard UNIX config file format (Re: Caldera installation - something Debian should learn)

>> "BE" == Bernd Eckenfels <lists@lina.inka.de> writes:

BE> On Fri, Apr 23, 1999 at 02:57:07PM -0000, Robert Woodcock wrote:
>> UNIX *badly* needs a common config file format, and we might as well start
>> now.

BE> Why? The config formats of the different unix config files is used
BE> because different application needs different information
BE> structures.

I believe there are different formats, because everyone did implement
it on their own, not so much because they address different needs that 

There is no technical need for apache config using a different config
format than login.defs. Both can easily be represented using xml.

BE> Hu? What is the difference between a Tag <myname> and a tag M: if
BE> you enter both with a config program?

Because you can use just one generic config editor. When there is a
nice DTD editor, and the apps provide their dtds, this editor can
prevent to construction of an invalid file. It knows which options are 
allowed at any place, and what value an option can take.

Talk with someone who uses sgml-mode in emacs to write docbook or
such. I recently begun to do so. It is amazing.

BE> An XML PArser is very heavy wighted 

$ ls -l libxml.so.0.0.0
-rw-r--r--   1 root     root        89100 Mar 26 15:01 libxml.so.0.0.0

This is the one used by GNOME. It is from the W3 Consortium.

BE> and I dont see a Reason for it.

I am sick of checking if I may use tab or not, what is the syntax for
config file xyz etc. Especially if you don't configure the stuff every 
day. An editor which knows where I may put what option is really
could. Ease of use and code reuse.

BE> Each config file will still have different strucutres and tag
BE> names which you have to learn.

As mentioned above, the editor knows what you can put in every level.

BE> Personally I prefer a /etc/hosts with 3 columns over an XML file
BE> with a lot of nesed tags I cant work on with grep or shell tools.

xml parsing modules are available for nearly every language.

It is easy to write a tool that does grep 192.168. /etc/hosts
as xmlgrep hostname=192.168. /etc/hosts or a version, where you can be 
more specific which part of the file to search.

I wouldn't be surprized if such a thing already existed.


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