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Sysinst GSOC project

On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 3:35 AM, Alistair Crooks <> 
 > On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 11:58:55PM -0500, Zach Wegner wrote:
 >  > Hello everyone,
 >  >
 >  > My name is Zach Wegner. I am 20 years old, and I attend Austin
 >  > Community College in Austin, TX. I have been selected for the Google
 >  > Summer of Code to help out the NetBSD project. I've been using NetBSD
 >  > for several years, and I am excited to become a part of the community.
 >  Welcome, Zach, and congratulations on being picked for SoC - a number
 >  of us have been looking forward to this project being completed.
 Thanks. I can tell, because tech-install suddenly has a lot of activity.

 >  Agreed - perhaps a '|' to distinguish between options, or wrap
 >  them all in a csh-like {a,b,c,d} group?

 Maybe even both: { option1 | option2 | option3 }. That's much better
 than question marks. One thing to think about is what to do for single
 options, like the comp set in the example file. You can have { option
 }, but it's possible we might want to have the syntax be a bit

 >  I like the simplicity of your format, though.  Having said that, I'm
 >  sure the XML bigots^Wadvocates will get on my case here.  Personally,
 >  I believe that XML could be an option some other time, but that SoC
 >  projects are time-limited, and so that's not an option here.  In
 >  addition, having to hand edit XML isn't the end of the world, but it
 >  is also highly undesirable, and certainly not something that one
 >  should have to admit to doing in public.
 >  So please, folks on tech-install, mail me the stuff about XML, so
 >  Zach can stay focussed on his project, which is definitely useful
 >  and highly desirable for NetBSD.

 Hmm... I was warned about XML, that was one reason I wrote about the
 flamewar. I like the example format I gave, but XML does have two
 1) Parsers already written--I don't know about the specific libraries,
 but avoiding parsing code would be nice.
 2) More verbosity--some options could be a little more descriptive in
 their names, like the partitions and installation mediums.

 However, I think it is still too verbose, and not really hand-editable
 (you have to consider that someone doing the editing might be using vi
 or even ed, when running on the installation machine).

 I think what might be best is to extend the format a bit, to make the
 options clearer, and implement it with yacc or an equivalent. Does
 that sound reasonable? I'll look around at other config files, and try
 to post another sample file in the next week or so (I'm pretty busy
 with work and school for the next few weeks).
 >  Regards,
 >  Alistair

 Thanks for your help, and thanks everyone for being very reasonable
 and helpful. I can tell already that I picked the right


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