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Re: XML-based configurations

On Wed, 25 Nov 1998, Aaron wrote:

> I propose (or reiterate, if it's already been proposed) that relatively
> complex, and especially new configuration files be XML-compatible (that is,
> could be parsed by an XML-parser given a proper DTD).

This can do the trick. Positive thing is that by embracing XML
we are not on our own only. What I do not know is how well
it would fit the purpose. It may, take a look at 


and especially


and it looks like somebody already started work on subject:


But I have no idea how well it would really fit. The other thing is
whether XML succeeds. If it does, bingo, we break the bank. But if it
eventually becomes dead standard, we loose.  However, paradoxically MS
declared dedication to XML can help us politically. I *know* that they are
going to make horror out of it, but nevertheless there is profit for linux
to make here. 

> My reasoning is this:
> doing so would link the myriad of different formats used in system
> configuration into a single format whose only difference is in the element types
> used. This would greatly simplify the administrator's work (in that he/she
> doesn't have to learn obscure formats)

Take note that obscure and supposedly difficult administration is *main*
argument against linux that is being frequently made. Typical response is
"OK, maybe linux is fine but WinNT is easy for administration (because it
has consistent interface)". This is shallow reasoning, but nevertheless
popular. If lsb could provide consistency of *any* type of administration
interface (I am talking about more than prompt)  across all linux systems
and this consistency were obvious at first look, we win.

> and also provides for the developer
> a coherent means of configuration.

That's what pushes the balance of opinion in direction of NT in those
cases when NT is chosen.

> by binding their code together. I see proper integration as efficient and
> functional communication between applications.

100% correct.

 This is made much easier
> with a standard format of resource storage. This is a similar idea to
> that of the Xresources and the resource database xrdb. However, an XML
> based system is far more extensible and universal.
> Obviously, many things don't have the complexity to require XML, and
> many applications can't use it due to familiarity to their own traditional
> configuration formats.

Then they can be just left alone. Or some extra interface between old
style application configuration files and new files (once new standard
settles down a little) could be written in future. 

> alike. Developers because they would not have to spend time defining their
> own formats, their own parsers, and possibly attempting to coordinate those
> formats with other applications' formats. Administrators/hackers because
> whenever they go to edit a configuration, there is a clear and universal
> interface to that configuration.

That's the way to "world domination". ;-)

 Marcin Krol

Hiroshima 45                   Tschernobyl 86                      Windows 95

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