Subject: XML config file (was Re: power management and related concerns)
To: Garrett D'Amore <>
From: Magnus Eriksson <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 07/04/2006 10:34:53
On Mon, 3 Jul 2006, Garrett D'Amore wrote:

> And, if necessary, we can provide some simple xml command line editing
> tools for use in scripting.  Possible example strawmen:
>    xml -get -d printcap -f /etc/passwd.xml "user=garrett" "gecos"
>    xml -set -d printcap -f /etc/printcap.xml "queue=lp"  "device=/dev/lp0"


> I'm not a huge fan of XML, but your objections here sound like FUD much
> more than any complaint, and I've not heard any better suggestions for a
> file format that can be easily extended or support a variety of uses.
> Again, I'm not beholden to XML, but I _abhor_ the idea of creating
> another one-off, non-extensible special purpose file format.

   In that case, go with XML all the way.  Convert all config files in the 
whole system to XML, have command line tools that manipulate XML the way 
we now use grep, awk, etc to manipulate text, include an XML parser 
library in the base system that anyone can use in their programs, include 
good documentation on all the above, etc.

   Then we're talking.

   Until then, the merits of XML really don't matter, this will only be 
just another semi-opaque config file format that no one can be bothered to 

   And the next time something similar needs to be done, we'll get another 
"one-off, non-extensible special purpose file format".

Note: I don't feel strongly about XML either way.  But if the argument can 
be made that it's better, let's make things consistently better.  If not, 
please at least be consistent.