Forum OpenACS Development: Response to ACS 4 missing the parameters file

Posted by Henry Minsky on
Hi I'm around, sorry for being somewhat out if it.

I'd like to make some progress on this. I have two alternative
approaches, not sure which is best:

1) store the param data as a .tcl script, like we do now with the
tcl server init file.

2) store the param data as some XML format

I am leaning towards using a .tcl file for saving the package params. I am getting somewhat wary of overusing XML as a format for human configurable or readable persistent storage of things. I think the main use for using XML is that it is an easy file format to exchange between heterogenous systems. However, if the param files will only
be read and written from OpenACS, then I don't see the advantage. Tcl
is a powerful macro language, so we can write a file format that
can be evaluated to load it. The advantage is that you can then
put procedures in the file. This is very powerful, we use it in the example
OpenACS init file that is distributed with the system, and it is a convenient advantage to be able to use variables, function calls etc.
in the param file.

I was turned off by the "ant"  java makefile tool file format that Arsdigita started using, because it tries to use XML as first a declarative language, then a programming language, and it is in my opinion somewhat harder to use that bad old "make" syntax, which was bad enough.

Anyway, if anyone has any strong opinions about that, please speak up.