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Re: Bug#189347: stop the "manage with debconf" madness

Emile van Bergen <emile-deb@evbergen.xs4all.nl> writes:

> In most cases, the only feature that's used (and needed) of XML that it
> stores a tree of attribute/value pairs.
> Given limited effort, I am absolutely convinced that it should be
> possible to come up with a more robust, well defined, simple(!), user
> and implementor-friendly(!), do-one-thing-and-do-it-well way of doing
> that.
> Not by starting from "we've got HTML which is being (ab)used for ad-hoc
> RPC purposes, let's make a more general SGML application to do that"
> which became XML, but starting from the simple requirement stated above:
> storing and transmitting nested trees of attribute/value pairs with a
> *limited* number of possible data types. 

I personally must say that I find the format of apt.conf satisfies
this goal admirably.  It also easily allows one to easily override
some specific settings while leaving the rest in place.

For example, here's an apt.conf that I used when I was preparing an
upgrade CD for a machine that sat in a benighted place without network

  Dir "/"
    // Location of the state dir
    State "var/lib/apt/" 
       status "/home/martind/lazarus/status";

    Cache "/home/martind/lazarus/aptchive";

  Debug::NoLocking "true";

Perhaps it has a few too many quoted strings, semicolons, and braces
for some people's taste, but it has the very distinct advantage that
it's already implemented in a program that's already on every Debian

Then there's always the format Sun came up with for java's .properties
files, which definitely wins the simplicity award, evne if trailing
spaces can sometimes bite the unwary.

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