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

From: Max Laier <max@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2003 19:14:30 +0100

James Frazer 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' ?

Third-party stuff (i.e. the ports) go whatever way they choose, so you can't influence that (much). For the base-system stuff: Either the config is way to simple/plain to gain from xml or it has a traditional, long standing config system (sendmail/bind e.g.) which isn't replaced that easiely. In addition a xml-parser doesn't come exactly for free and you probably don't want expat lib dependencies in everything that needs a config file.

There are certainly things that will make good use of xml. Apache is heading that way for instance.

XML is not "The ultimative solution(tm)" for every job out there.

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).

Speaking of a "config-system", are you thinking about putting all of etc into a larger xml "config database"? That would be awful as it will generate the same problems Windows has with it's registry ... so please don't!

Is there any interest in this sort of thing?

As I stated before, there are things that will gain from xml based config files and they will use it (sooner or later). For the base system I can't think of anything ...

Best regards,				| max@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Max Laier				| ICQ #67774661
http://pf4freebsd.love2party.net/	| mlaier@EFnet #DragonFlyBSD

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