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Re: XML vs .ini format (or, can we end this frickin' thread for now?)

From: Brian Huddleston <brianh_at_huddleston.net>
Date: 2002-03-27 23:20:06 CET

Not having an opinion on the advisability of changing(?) the current
implementation of your configuration file parser and wishing I had noticed
the original discussion where .ini format was discussed (and at the risk of
prolonging the frickin' thread...but now that the subject lines have been
sensibly sorted out)....

> This thread is getting a bit out of hand. Here is a short summary:
> * .ini format is more human editable

This is a really (really) weak argument, IMHO. Lots of apps have XML
configuration files. Lots of people edit them by hand (with notepad or vi
or their editor of choice). It is far from burdensome. It is a format
people are used to...editing INIs have no, or at least inconsistent

> * XML is more machine editable(*)

Heh...people *could* debate this one, but I doubt they could do it for more
than a minute or so and still keep a straight face. The XML format and
parsing behavior is fomalized. There are a few hundred libraries for
dealing with it in various layers of abstraction in any language you can

> * we debated this a LONG time ago and chose human over machine

I *really* wish I could've been there, regardless of how much weight my
opinion would've carried. :-)

I am amazed httpd.conf made it as long as it has. I've never had a project
where the name=value thing lasted past the first four or five months.

> * initial coding will be the .ini format
> * [possible future] also parse an XML format
> Can we stop the discussion, wait for the config stuff to stabilize, and
> (post-alpha) discuss using XML as a second config format?

Ahh...ugly legacy configuration formats that you have to keep supporting.

In any case, keep up the good work guys. I can't wait to switch us over
here at work.


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Received on Wed Mar 27 23:40:29 2002

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