ConfigParser shootout, preliminary entry

Carlos Ribeiro carribeiro at
Sat Oct 23 21:19:35 CEST 2004

On Sat, 23 Oct 2004 18:19:31 +0000 (UTC), Steven Bethard
<steven.bethard at> wrote:
> Oh, I also wanted to mention that I *really* liked the idea on python-dev that
> ConfigObject might be configurable in the same way as OptionParser:

*If* we can agree on the principle that there are two different issues
here, one being the traditional ConfigParser, and the other one being
a new ConfigObject, (or ConfigInfo, or whatever it gets named), then
it should be possible to provide a simple, but still generic enough,
interface that is able to build a configuration object by fetching
configuration info from a few convenient sources, such as INI files
and command-line options, just by using different parsers. I don't
mean this is a over-generical, all-parsers-are-the-same-thing type of
solution; I'm only talking about a small convenience layer here, which
may be feasible without adding too much complexity.

If there's one thing that I've been learning through my contact with
more experienced Pythoneers, is that over generalization just for the
sake of it is *bad*. In this sense, complex stuff such as XML file
formats would be better handled by their own specific frameworks. INI
files, on the other hand, are *simple*, and should stay like that. The
same apply for config line options.

As for another commentary regarding the 'microsoftness' of the INI
file format, well, I don't see that as a problem at all. It should not
be bad just because it's Microsoft, or any other company format, for
that sake. It's already 'open' enough, nobody really owns it; it's
simple, readable, user-editable, and pretty simple to parse and to
write back. Besides that, it's widely known. It would be bad if we
were talking about supporting the full Microsoft API for INI files,
which isn't the case, really (unless someone suggests to make the
ConfigObject to mimick the Windows Registry; in this case, I'll flee
from this forum in panic).

Carlos Ribeiro
Consultoria em Projetos
mail: carribeiro at
mail: carribeiro at

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