Great Circle Associates Majordomo-Workers
(November 1995)
 

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Subject: Re: A human readable list configuration file.
From: Brent @ GreatCircle . COM (Brent Chapman)
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 08:56:47 +0100
To: "Roger B.A. Klorese" <rogerk @ queernet . org>, cwilson @ sgihub . corp . sgi . com
Cc: majordomo-workers @ greatcircle . com

At 6:43 PM 11/7/95, Roger B.A. Klorese wrote:
>At 12:09 AM 11/8/95 +0100, you wrote:
>>I can't see any overwhelming reason that the list configuration file
>>can't be something a human can easily parse and read yet still easily
>>parsed by a computer, *especially* one running perl.
>>
>>Here's a start at such text.  Comments?
>
>The more text in a file, the more difficult it is to read AFTER A WHILE.
>Verbosity IN THE FILE does not really help anyone.

This is very true.  This is why people love Wellfleet router command
interfaces when they first get them (easy menu-driven configuration; great
when you're not familiar with the product), and hate them after a few weeks
when they've learned the product (no fast way around the menu system; takes
forever to do anything).

>In addition, a file which seems to be free format MUST be free-format for
>real, or else, it's a disaster in the making.  And parsing free-format
>text for this stuff is a frightening prospect.

Definitely.

>Whe not a menu-style config setup/edit script instead?  Then the rest
>of us can use terse config files and our favorite editors...

Uh...  Where do you think such a script would run?  I'm doing most of my
email from a Mac these days, for example...

Personally, I think I'd rather see this problem addressed through better
comments/documentation in the existing config file format.  And, of my
current list of gripes about Majordomo, "config files are difficult to
understand" doesn't even make the list...


-Brent

--
Brent Chapman         | Great Circle Associates  | For Firewalls Tutorial info:
Brent@GreatCircle.COM | 1057 West Dana Street    | Tutorial-Info@GreatCircle.COM
+1 415 962 0841       | Mountain View, CA  94041 | http://www.greatcircle.com



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