[Melbourne-pm] config file parsers

Damian Conway damian at conway.org
Tue Feb 15 19:19:48 PST 2005

Geoff Crompton wrote:

> Someone at work suggested using YAML for the config file. I'm already 
> using YAML for a state file, so it would make sense to keep the tech 
> count down.
> What are peoples thoughts on using YAML? I've only just started using 
> it, so I'm not real familiar with YAML.

YAML is a truly excellent serialization language. My qualms about it as a 
config language would be that it's a little too sophisticated, and fairly 
strict in its layout requirements.

Sophistication is not good in a config file language because it means that 
mistakes by end-users will sometimes not be caught as mistakes, but will 
instead have unintended meaning.

Strictness in formatting is not ideal because you're dealing with the vagaries 
of files written by end users, who will not understand why tabs and spaces are 
sometimes significant--and different--even though they appear the same on screen.


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