Revision as of 13:31, 24 May 2006 by Gmc444 (Talk | contribs)


This proposal for a configuration file format looks similar to what was done with geant and gexace.

Personally, I think XML is an inappropriate format for this job. It might be a good idea to talk to Gobo (Eric Bezault) about his experience with those tools.

Among the problems:

XML is very verbose, and while it can be read by a human, it's not very easy to read. In this respect it's much worse than Ace files.

To solve configuration problems, you need all the basics of a programming language: input, output, state, conditionals, and iteration. Using XML to represent these often becomes kludgy. Look at the effort that goes into solving what should be fairly simple if conditions.

I think it would be far better to evolve the Ace file specification, perhaps into a subset of Eiffel that allows us to write a clear, declarative specification of a system without a lot of <tag>s and </tags> and obtuse rules.


The format is just an internal mean and it is only in XML format to make it easy to store in source control management system. We will go towards the edition through a hopefully nice graphical interface, we have the experience of what currently exists in EiffelStudio to make something much easier to use.


After writing my initial post, I did get to see a demo of how the new file format works, and how it's represented in an Eiffel-like format for users. It surprises me a little that the Eiffel-like presentation would be considered harder to work with in source control than XML. Oh well, as long as I don't have to worry about hand-editing XML I can live with it =)