[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

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

at this point i'd like to state my opinion that using xml for everything is
not hugely better than using a binary database. different config styles have
vastly different needs. some are optimized for parsing speed (sendmail.cf);
others (in fact, most) are designed for simplicity (passwd, hosts...); some
are designed for unusual data structures. xml is not the best for either of
these things. it is good for representing hierarchical data in a relatively
free format, without any semantic specifications. for many things this is
really inferior to a one record per line format with fixed meanings for each
column. deciding that it's ok because a configuration editor knows what goes
where is a claim also made in favor of the binary db, and it's no more
acceptable in the xml case.

in other words, a single grand unified configuration for everything will not
work as well as having everything decide how to configure itself. certainly
it would be nice to standardize and/or redo a few formats, especially things
like whitespace separation stupidity, but changing to xml is not going to
make your (or at least my) life any easier.

"For a price I'd do about anything, except pull the trigger: for that I'd
need a pretty good cause" -- Queensryche, "Revolution Calling"
PGP 5.0 key (0xE024447449) at http://cif.rochester.edu/~jpt/pubkey.txt

Reply to: