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DragonFly kernel List (threaded) for 2003-12
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Re: configuration files

From: Emiel Kollof <coolvibe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2003 19:03:13 +0100

* James Frazer (jfrazer@xxxxxxxx) wrote:
> Just a hypothetical question I've been pondering lately:
> I'm just wondering what the future holds for configuration files found 
> in /etc (or wherever for that matter) ?  Are we ever going to see a 
> shift towards an XML based config-system?  Or is the general consensus 
> that 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' ?
> I know there's a lot of merit/legacy in the standard *nix way of doing 
> config files, but it seems kind of logical that an XML based 
> config-system would be the next step.  It's still text based, and 
> therefore can be edited by hand (if necessary), but it can also be 
> validated to ensure correctness (in structure & syntax).
> Is there any interest in this sort of thing?

Not at all. No. Nonononono no no. No.

Well, at least not from me. XML is fine as something to create
machine-generated configurations with (at least you can attack it with a
text editor), and for documentation generation, but I feel that XML is
overused everywhere already. XML files are bloated, there is a tendency
for overambiguity, and using a simple configuration file format is much
easier to implement and use than to wire in a bloated over-costly xml
parser (or worse, hack up our own that does it half-heartedly).

It's sooo much simpler to use simple key=value like configuration files,
and for stuff in /etc (which is usally referenced at boot) simpler is
better. Less headaches, simple parsing, simple to edit, easy to explain.
All things that XML isn't.

You can go wild with XML-based configuration files in /usr/local/etc or
/usr/X11R6/etc. Anywhere is fine, but not in /etc.

Well, that's my (humble) opinion anyway.


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