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Re: RFS: confget -- read variables from INI-style configuration files

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 09:58:34PM +0200, George Danchev wrote:
> On Wednesday 18 March 2009 11:43:40 Peter Pentchev wrote:
> > Dear mentors,
> Hello Peter,
> > I am looking for a sponsor for my package "confget".
> >
> > * Package name    : confget
> >   Version         : 1.01-1
> >   Upstream Author : Peter Pentchev <roam@ringlet.net> (myself)
> > * URL             : http://devel.ringlet.net/textproc/confget/
> > * License         : Two-clause BSD
> >   Section         : text
> >
> > It builds these binary packages:
> > confget    - read variables from INI-style configuration files
> >
> > The package has been lintian- and pbuilder-tested.
> >
> > The upload would fix these bugs: 502543 (ITP)
> >
> > The package can be found on mentors.debian.net:
> > dget -x
> > http://mentors.debian.net/debian/pool/main/c/confget/confget_1.01-1.dsc
> >
> > Here is the long description of the package:
> >
> >  The confget utility examines a INI-style configuration file and retrieves
> >  the value of the specified variables from the specified section.
> >  Its intended use is to let shell scripts use the same INI-style
> >  configuration files as other programs, to avoid duplication of data.
> >
> >  The confget utility may retrieve the values of one or more variables,
> >  list all the variables in a specified section, list only those whose names
> >  or values match a specified pattern (shell glob or regular expression), or
> >  check if a variable is present in the file at all.  It has a
> > "shell-quoting" output mode that quotes the variable values in a way
> > suitable for passing them directly to a Bourne-style shell.
> It took me some time to assimilate the hardening notes at wiki.d.o [1], I'm 
> remotely familiar with, though this document is informative enough about 
> potential build and run-time failures on different architectures wrt 
> compiler/linker hardening options. Anyway, buildd logs and buglogs should be 
> monitored closely, and in case of troublesome behaviour we should disable 
> features via DEB_BUILD_HARDENING_[feature]=0.
> The question is: is it worth the effort? Let's say, I'm fine either way ;-)

Well, the hardening wrapper has shown me some problems in both third-party
software and also (very few, but still) in my own programs in the past
couple of months, so if you're asking about whether it's worth it to
compile with the hardening wrapper and pay attention to its warnings, then
I personally say "hell yeah!" :)  But then... confget already uses it,
doesn't it?  I'm not quite sure what exactly you mean here :)

> A couple of minor points: confget(1) manpage references to a non-existing 
> Config::IniFiles(3) which potentially should describe the syntax of ini 
> configuration files if I'm not mistaken?

Erm... hmm.  Actually, Config::IniFiles(3) is the manual page of
the Perl Config::IniFiles module, available in Debian as
libconfig-inifiles-perl - but then I guess you already knew that :)

The reason I cross-referenced it in the SEE ALSO section of the confget(1)
manual page is not to describe the format, but to point to a different
implementation, a different programming library that people can use to
access INI files.  Maybe it's not quite clear, and I agree that maybe,
once in a while, it could even be confuzzling; do you think I should drop
the cross-reference and just spell it out in words, something like
"Another INI parser is the Config::IniFiles Perl module" or something?

> It would be even better to include 
> some short configuration files samples/examples in the binary package itself. 
> Your own t{1|2}.ini should suffice.

Ah, examples.  An interesting, intriguing concept, indeed :)

I'm not sure if t1.ini and t2.ini are really suitable as sample INI files;
they're more like silly, contrived, awful examples of the depths that
an INI file can sink to...  But I could install them as examples, if you
think it's appropriate.

I can't prepare a new package right now, but sometime tomorrow I'll see
what I can do about uploading a new version, if you think it's worth it.

> Otherwise, the package looks useful and the source code very clean and sound. 
> Let me know what you think about the above points, and I'll sponsor.

Thanks for the time you took to examine it!


Peter Pentchev	roam@ringlet.net    roam@space.bg    roam@FreeBSD.org
PGP key:	http://people.FreeBSD.org/~roam/roam.key.asc
Key fingerprint	FDBA FD79 C26F 3C51 C95E  DF9E ED18 B68D 1619 4553
If this sentence didn't exist, somebody would have invented it.

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