Vadim Antonov's Grail

Laurent Martelli
05 Jan 1999 00:41:22 +0100

>>>>> "Fco" == Fco J Ballesteros <> writes:

    Fco> Laurent Martelli writes:
    >> files are the biggest flaw in unix systems, because when you
    >> have a file, you don't known how to interpret it, since there's
    >> no meta-data

    Fco> The one who created the file (human|app) knows. And most of
    Fco> the time, the file (i.e. #!...) knows too.

This is OK for a script, but not for "data" files. Only a few very
coomon data files have library to access data into it. /etc/password
for example. But most of the configuration files are only conveniently
access to by the app who created it. And this app does not always
provide a way to modify it in every detail. And if you modify it by
hand you run the risk of having an invalid file. Plus you need to read
a man page to know the subtle details of the format. I am not against
reading the docs, but if you have a general and unique format, you
just have to read them once. And having meta information allow
edit-time type-cheking and other consistency checking.

So as a conclusion, it just a waste of time to invent new
configuration file format, and write the code read and write
it. Having a general means of handling persistant data it _the_
way. And Unices do not provide this.

Laurent "Unix is a has-been OS" Martelli :-)