Re: Work smarter, not harder
> XML isn't very good for plain
> configuration files. This might not be
> the standard gee-whiz XML is great
> answer, but it is true. I've used lots
> of XML, but I've moved away from using
> it in human-driven configuration.
I agree that XML is not as easily editable as some formats, however, it does offer some other features that other formats do not offer.
o It's editable by hand (although not as editable as some other formats)
o It's very easy to parse (since there are XML parsers for most languages)
o It's flexable enough to express most configuration options
o It is flexable enough to include inline hints that are easy for an editor to display nicely
o It is easy to validate configuration data since you can validate against a DTD
o Using namespaces you could probably embed configuration structures not offered by the format, that could still be handled reasonably by a 'config editor'
o The config could be quickly turned into docs
o The markup language could be defined such that one could split config up into multiple files, so that each file could have permissions set differently (some sort of includes)
o It is quick and easy to query XML for values - you can check for config values without implementing parser after parser and worrying about bugs
And, I agree with the original poster - offering developers an easy way to get at configuration that is also easy for third party utilities to get at is the way to go. Working togeather is the way to improve things - working around everyone else is not effective, and won't work out. Lets solve a problem, not work around it.