[TUHS] A question about ls(1)

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Tue Apr 30 06:37:26 AEST 2019

On Mon, Apr 29, 2019 at 12:14 PM Michael Kjörling <michael at kjorling.se>

> On 28 Apr 2019 13:00 -0700, from bakul at bitblocks.com (Bakul Shah):
> > b) a standardized plain text format
> I'm not sure about that; different applications have very different
> needs, and trying to shoehorn one into another would be ugly; quite
> possibly even more ugly than just having different formats. Imagine
> trying to write mail sorting recipies (think procmail) in a file with
> the same format as that of one holding word processor settings or an
> image metadata store. I guess that's half-way tolerable on Windows
> because next to nobody edits the settings directly anyway, but on a
> system where many such files are sometimes, or often, edited directly
> by the user, it might well hinder more than it helps. I guess you
> _could_ go with something like XML or JSON, but that's a bit like
> saying "all cars should have an engine and a refillable fuel store",
> in that it doesn't actually standardize anything _meaningful_ (in both
> of those cases, the magic is in the schema, not the format). Lists of
> examples not intended to be exhaustive.

The only thing that .profile and .Xdefaults share is a leading '.'. While
the latter could be XML or JSON (almost, neither of those formats has
conditional expressions and .Xdefaults is run through cpp), the former
never could be XML or JSON in any sane universe.

So while some config stuff is stored in the dot files, its nature is
somewhat different.

Also, to use git as an example. my repo has a .git/config in it. For work
repos I put my work email and preferred spelling of my name. those go in
repo/.git/config. But for everything else, I have some global settings in
$HOME/.git/config. There are from time to time other reasons to tweak the
settings of a repo and have it be local to that repo only.

It's a tricky problem...

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