[Distutils] Configuration via imperative or declarative language (was: Static metadata using setup.cfg)

Greg Ewing greg.ewing at canterbury.ac.nz
Wed Sep 9 02:24:59 CEST 2009

Ben Finney wrote:

> The metadata being discussed is static. What's at issue is how that
> metadata should be encoded: in an imperative language (like a Python
> program file) or a declarative language (like a ConfigParser file).

I'm not sure that exactly expresses the distinction either.
Depending on exactly what you understand by "declarative",
a program writtenin a functional language can be considered
purely declarative, yet it can be impossible to tell what it
will do without running it.

I think what people mean here by "static" is more like
"can be elaborated without requiring non-trivial amounts of
computation". Not just to minimise the amount of work a
tool using the config file needs to do, but also to ease
the task of debugging it when things don't work properly.


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