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

On Sat, Apr 24, 1999 at 08:31:08PM +0200, Martin Bialasinski wrote:
> 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.

The Editor des not know about: Data-Types, Possible Values, Sematics,
Support like: File/Color/Dont-Browser, does not know about the scope of a
element (relative or absolte path), does not know the sematics of an
element. All those problems you have both, with XML and other config files.
XML is especially dump in this, there is no definition of allowed formats
(date-field with YY-MM-DD) or allowed field lenghth. A DTD does not help in
all of those aspects of config files.

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

I love to write Markup Documents, I even use Word to write real markup. But
this doesnt change the fact, that I dont see any support recent XML Editors
will give me compared to Control-Centers like GNOME´s or KDE´s. Or even
Linuxconf or .dot-file generator.

> 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.

I´m talking about parsing password files with thousands of entries. There is
a good example, try runnng sendmail (as root) on a HP/UP Box with shadowed
passwords and a few thousand passwd entries.

> I am sick of checking if I may use tab or not, what is the syntax for
> config file xyz etc.

I dont have problems with that. Well.. on the othe hand, I am used to work
with it for years.

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

It doesnt help if you dont know what tag is used for:

old style:
<direcetory />                        rlimit=10000
  option indexes
</directory />

new style:
<directory root="/">               <rlimit>10000</rlimit>

Those 2 examples dont show me much benefit...

XML is very well suited for object serialisation, reading and writing by
programs. It is even well suited to to Document Marup, but it sucks (like
any other file format) in beeing an user interface.


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