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

From: Greg Stein <gstein_at_lyra.org>
Date: 2002-03-28 03:53:42 CET

On Wed, Mar 27, 2002 at 04:20:06PM -0600, Brian Huddleston wrote:
>...
> > 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.

Oh? I didn't find a single XML file under /etc.

> 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
> semantics.

Debatable.

> > * 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
>...

The debatable point is the "more". Sure, XML is perfectly editable, but I
find that the .ini is also, as Branko has pointed out.

> > * 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. :-)

Well, the ultimate point is: we are on a path. We are going to finish that
path. *THEN* we can talk about where else to go.

If you have two systems that have nearly equal merit, and which falls most
to individual preferences, *AND* which do not preclude each other, then the
best approach is to stop screwing around, do one, and go from there.

I much prefer a pragmatic get-it-done approach over debates. "Talk is cheap.
Code matters."

> I am amazed httpd.conf made it as long as it has.

It works.

> I've never had a project
> where the name=value thing lasted past the first four or five months.

My ViewCVS project is several years old. Nobody has complained about its
configuration format.

Samba is *way* old, and it uses the .ini format.

etc

Each of us have different experiences. That creates bias. But I don't think
it is *wrong* to choose one.

> > * 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 then
> > (post-alpha) discuss using XML as a second config format?
>
> Ahh...ugly legacy configuration formats that you have to keep supporting.
> :-)

I don't mind.

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

Well, we're trying to get the thing done... You could always help :-)

Cheers,
-g

-- 
Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/
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Received on Thu Mar 28 03:50:16 2002

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