XML-based configurations

Marcin Krol lug at btweng.krakow.pl
Wed Nov 25 08:41:35 PST 1998

On Wed, 25 Nov 1998, Jakob 'sparky' Kaivo wrote:

> IMHO, this would be a Bad Thing(tm). It is far beyond the scope of LSB to
> specify *how* an application stores its configuration. 

Read mission statement:"The goal of the Linux Standard Base (LSB) is to
develop and promote a set of standards that will increase compatibility
among Linux distributions and enable software applications to run on any
compliant Linux system".

Just how specifying the way applications store configuration is *not*
increasing compatibility is beyond me. Your opinion is equivalent to
saying "let's not fulfill the goal of lsb". Obviously making some
unreasonable move here can be disastrous, so it needs to be done
the way hedgehogs make love: very, very carefully. :-)

>It may be
> acceptable to specify *where* an application stores its configuration,
> though. I.e. daemons with one config file store it in /etc, daemons with
> multiple config files store in a subdirectory of /etc, normal applications
> store it in a .rc file in the user's home directory, or a .subdirectory
> for multiple file stuff.

That's bare minimum, I think there is a need to go beyond that, with
obvious assumption of doing it in such way that would not alienate
current users and developers, as well as people without GUI.

> However, even that may be beyond LSB, and I
> really think that dealing with config files should be left to the
> application vendor.

That's like saying: leave defining HTML to Netscape and MS. They
will do what they want, but common base is necessary anyway. Following
your thinking W3C should be eliminated. Regardless how good job
any Web company will do, consortium is necessary anyway for settling
some common ground, and building extensions (commercial, free software,
whatever really) on top of that. But in order to do that, you have
to have *some* common ground on important issues, and application 
configuration especially in GUI area is important ground. 

 Marcin Krol

Hiroshima 45                   Tschernobyl 86                      Windows 95

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