Matthew Rosewarne on 10 Jan 2008 13:06:41 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Config Files and Steam Engines

On Thursday 10 January 2008, Dan Widyono wrote:
> One problem I have with this entire conversation is I haven't read any
> shining example of a good configuration API that has consistently improved
> syntax across multiple diverse vendor products (on one OS, much less across
> multiple OSes).

I wasn't advocating any particular implementation, but merely musing about 
what I see to be an area for improvement.  I'm not entirely sure why there 
was such a flurry of replies, and I really don't get where all this talk of 
the Windows Registry comes from.

> I agree.  In Linux there is no standard library framework for such work.
> That could enable useful further interactions, and that's speaking as a
> manager (policy driven), as a sysadmin (consistency, reproducability, and
> maintainability), and as a user (ooh look, turn this dial and that
> happens!). I assume programmers would love having another library to play
> with.  :)

The key term I'm thinking of is "interface".  Although it's not often 
described as such, opening a config file up in an editor is an interface to 
the configuration data.  This interface is great for those whose OS consists 
solely of a kernel, a shell, and an editor, but not so good beyond that.  
Making a system that would allow for more automated management of 
configuration data *without* depriving the skilled admins of their ability to 
do their thing is not an easy task, but I do think it would be possible with 
some cleverness, as well as hindsight.

%!PS: Bonus activity!
	Can you spot where I make fun of EMACS?

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