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cfengine and config4gnu

From: p . carsten
Subject: cfengine and config4gnu
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2003 13:08:30 +0100 (CET)

Hello everybody,

i am interested to know if you heard of the config4gnu project and if there 
might be some interest of hooking it nicely together with cfengine.

So far Config4gnu provides a unified configuration API for all kinds of config 
files on a single machine. Frontends for WWW, GTK, comand line (skripts) or 
programms using the config4gnu API directly all see the same "configuration 
tree". Config4Gnu provides logic/consistency checking, activation of changes, 
"configuration wizards" and more. But at all times only the config files under 
/etc are authoritative and are still fully hand editable including the comments.

The Config4Gnu parsers (backends) understand the syntax based on a config-file 
definition and dynamicly generates a xml representation of it. If a 
logic-definition is also available the middlelayer knows wich settings are 
common with other packages, which help texts are relevant, how to activate 
changes, etc. and about wizard and test logics.

The system is designed so that with two config definition files an application 
is fully supported, providing easy access for all UIs, scripts or programs. In 
the future these definiton files can be maintained within the different 
software packages so that its central configuration is instantly availabe upon 

I see this as the future way to handle configuration for free software. It is 
not limiting the personal choice of configuration file style for a programer, 
yet he has all the fancy stuff at hands easily. He could even use the 
Config4Gnu system directliy to parse and generate the configuration files for 
his application.

According to the two main developers the system is fully functional and can edit
many config formats.  It supports samba nearly fully. But it is not ready for 
public use yet. For example some dependencies need to be cleared.

Now my question is if there might be some interest in the cfengine community to 
work together with this.

Maybe it would be nice to do configuration changes through the config4gnu 
system on clients or to use cfengine as backend for config4gnu making a whole 
lot of machines accassible to all frontends

To find out more about Config4Gnu please visit and look into our mailachives. Unlike the 
website states there has also been a tarball released.


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