Re: Format of /etc/fstab

From: Andy Fraser (
Date: 12/06/04

Date: Mon, 06 Dec 2004 12:25:21 +0000

In alt.linux, Fao, Sean uttered the immortal words:

> XML based configuration files have great potential, although I'm quite
> skeptical whether or not we'll actually see support for them in the *nix
> distributions of the future. I agree 100% that *nix could benefit from
> a universal configuration file format. I just hope they don't get so
> complex that we can no longer manage to edit them with a simple text
> editor.

I think a universal config file format is impractical. What's wrong with the
way things are now? Most config files (at least the ones I edit regularly)
are a variation on the "key=value" idea. Something like Apache is an
exception. It has a more complex format because it can do complex things.

A universal format would mean designing something (XML would work here of
course) that can handle Apache and other complex siutations and using that
format for the simple "key=value" type making simple config files a bit
more complex.

I could say more on this but this very topic was discussed at great length
earlier this year in another NG. The full discussion should be available
via Google Groups.