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

>>>>> On Sat, 24 Apr 1999 22:50:53 +0200, Bernd Eckenfels <lists@lina.inka.de> said:

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

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

1) There is work on this issue.
2) The situation is not changed from a `normal' config in any way
   (i.e. this is no argument)
3) It'd be trivial to define this for xml
   (<relative-path>.</relative-path>) with a library wrapper around
   the xml library that does type checking.

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

It makes writing things like that trivial.  This is also a
non-argument.  Pointing to an example of something that does work
without xml and then saying `See XML isn't important or good' doesn't
prove anything about xml.  It only proves there are some dedicated
people out there willing to write a hundred and one parsers.

 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.

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

This may be a legitimate argument.  It will be a bit more heavy weight 
than some config file formats.  But you are just asserting that it
would be too bad to stand.  Do a test and show me the numbers.

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

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

Ah.  You don't therefore no one does.  If you hadn't guessed.  Another 
non-argument.  And the quip about the time you have used it implies
that you are smart and able to deal with arcane things and anyone that 
argues for a simpler more standard format just needs to be smarter or
get some more experience.  It's rude to imply those things about the
people you argue against.

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

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

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

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

 Bernd> Those 2 examples dont show me much benefit...

Ah.  One example and now you win.  Guess what? Another non-argument.

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

A user interface?  You mean someone editing the file?  You said
yourself that you edit sgml in word.  Isn't that a user interface to
the document?  Does it suck to use?  Why do you use it?

I think that using XML as a config file format for everything would be 
grand.  I also think that the people against it may make any attempt
at doing it a big waste of time.

@James LewisMoss <dres@ioa.com>         |  Blessed Be!
@    http://www.ioa.com/~dres           |  Linux is kewl!
@"Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they're yours." Bach

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