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Re: sysinst split project - The Configuration File

On 12/14/09 18:57, Volker A. Brandt wrote:
As for trying to count the number of people who "know" one language or
another, well that's a specious argument in this context.  XML syntax
might be easy to know, and a given XML DTD might be simple to
understand, but SGML style syntax overall is a _horrible_ syntax for
both humans and computers to use.

I respectfully disagree.  I find it not so bad, and computers don't care.

While computers do not care, XML processing is heavy, given all the tools required to parse just one simple XML file together with its DTD/Schema.

I have to manually tweak XML config files at $DAYJOB on a weekly basis, used in an environment that generates a configuration, Makefiles and ROM image for embedded devices. It is unbelievably heavy, and inconvenient to edit. While I understand that some XML files can be structured in a human readable and editable way, the vast majority of the files I have seen are just a pain.

Especially when you throw in markup languages like YAML or JSON which are, IMO, much easier to read than plain XML.

Anyway, I hope you won't end like HAL and its fdi files. While xorg.conf is not something expected to be understandable easily (way behind sendmail anyway ;) ), it was easily readable. Now that uses HAL, we didn't win on the "understandable" side, but IMHO, regress on the "readable" one.

I think the point also is that sysinst(8) _really_ NEEDS an embedded
scripting language anyway


Why does everyone seem want to shout "XML" in answer to such a wide
variety of questions when that isn't even a proper or complete answer to
any possible question!!?!?!?

Maybe because "everyone" is not interested in a "pure" way for its own
sake, but cares more for established standards, easy interoperability,
and accessibility for the non-guru level user.

"When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" syndrom.

What about JSON or YAML then? Do you consider them as "established standards, easy interoperability, and accessibility for the non-guru level user" ?

Anyway, I would have liked to see a "parameterized sysinst + native
packaging tool + system packages + automated netboot" installation system
for NetBSD.  It would have gone a long way towards acceptance of NetBSD
outside the "hardcore" user community.

I very much agree.

Jean-Yves Migeon

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