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Re: Support for XML config files?

From: Mark . Burgess
Subject: Re: Support for XML config files?
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 09:03:21 +0100 (MET)

On 15 Mar, Christopher Browne wrote:
> On Thu, 15 Mar 2001 14:32:54 PST, the world broke into rejoicing as
> Hal Wine <address@hidden>  said:
>> However, more and more of the config files I need to manage are switching
>> from "line format" to XML format. I don't see any reference to XML in the
>> docs -- has anybody had success with this?
> Hmmm...  If there are truly complex things going on, you may need to
> write a parser in Python/Perl/Scheme, and have cfengine invoke that
> parser.
>> Also, some of our line based files are really "multi-line" (think
>> printcap).  I'm sure that there is some magic incantations with
>> CFEngine that can handle that, but are there any examples
>> documented?
> Take a close look at the "editfiles" section in the reference guide.
> I'm afraid it doesn't document any terribly sophisticated examples, so
> the straight answer to your question is "no."  
> But there certainly are the "magic incantations" to handle it.
> This is where things kind of fall down.  In effect, cfengine has to
> add a "text editor" sublanguage for people to learn.
> Thinking out loud, the "I've got to punt, and do Scary Things to a
> file" thing suggests that it might be a slick idea to provide a
> cfengine section rather like:
> rewritefiles:
>    file=/etc/printcap \
>    script=/etc/cfengine/FixPrintcap 
>    arglist=( Postscript $hostname $printserver )
> Which would then do the following:
>  -> invoke the filter /etc/cfengine/FixPrintcap
>    -> Pass to it the expanded arguments
>    -> attach stdin to /etc/printcap
>    -> attach stdout to /etc/printcap.cfnew
>  -> Once done, look at the return codes
>    -> Nonzero indicates that /etc/printcap.cfnew is renamed to
>       /etc/printcap.proposed, and /etc/printcap is left alone
>    -> Zero return code results in /etc/printcap being renamed to
>       /etc/printcap.cfsaved, and /etc/printcap.cfnew renamed to
>       /etc/printcap
> The point here is to provide a way of hooking up arbitrary filters in
> a fashion that still allows ensuring that hideous failures lead to not
> _too_ much breakage of configuration, and that backups of
> configuration are done.  It is also arguable that a "diff -u" should
> be run on the config files, and logged in an analagous fashion to the
> way "editfiles:" works.
> --
> (concatenate 'string "cbbrowne" "")
> Rules of the  Evil Overlord #22. "No matter how tempted  I am with the
> prospect  of unlimited  power, I  will  not consume  any energy  field
> bigger than my head. <>

All of this is currently possible with the tools provided. Cfengine's
editing language is provided to offer a "safe" and "convergent" way
of editing files. There is no current facilty for XML.

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