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Re: comma vs space (was: Re: supporting http proxy via a config file)

From: Greg Stein <gstein_at_lyra.org>
Date: 2002-03-13 00:59:14 CET

On Tue, Mar 12, 2002 at 03:32:28PM -0800, Sean Russell wrote:
>...
> On Tuesday 12 March 2002 14:19, you wrote:
> > > It seems like a bikeshed to me, I confess, but maybe there's a
> > > convincing argument for why one way is better. Anyone care?
> >
> > See my recent note titled "single or multiple configs?"
>
> I'll admit that I haven't seen this posting, but I am reminded of Apache's
> history. It seems to me that, in the early days, there was a single big
> config file. Then there was a profusion of separate config files, which were
> all eventually merged back in to the main config file -- I assumed because it
> was more confusing to have multiple config files.

There were three standard files. The notion of the three was actually coded
into Apache. The problem was that there was no real, obvious semantic for
what went into what file. It was a huge mess to find what you were looking
for, because it could be in any of the three files. It wasn't *obvious*.

[ not to mention, that you *could* put anything into any file. internally,
  apache just glommed 'em together, so the separation wasn't even enforced,
  leading to even more abuse/confusion ]

> Eventually, a complex Apache configuration will tend to be broken out into
> multiple 'include'd files, but initially, everything starts out in one file.
> I don't know enough about the Subversion architecture to say whether this is
> a model that should be followed, but it seems to me to be a similar situation
> in which all of the work of deciding which way is better has already been
> done.

Our model for the config files is more like SSH or GNOME, where you have a
subdir and per-semantic config files. The httpd model doesn't quite apply,
IMO.

>...
> Again, I'm probably way off base, but are you familiar with PYX? PYX is a
> highly simplified version of XML. It maintains document structure, but is
>..
> I'm sure this has all been discussed before, and XML was thrown out for a very
> good reason; if so, redirect this email to /dev/null.

XML and PYX are not human-readable or human-editable. Therefore, they are
non-starters. Yes, we've had that discussion long ago, and I think all the
results of "what format?" still apply. I'd be happy to dig up references to
the discussion thread, if people really wanted to discuss/argue the merits
of the formats :-)

Cheers,
-g

-- 
Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/
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Received on Wed Mar 13 00:56:52 2002

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