Thoughts on language-level configuration support?

Rhodri James rhodri at
Tue Mar 31 03:31:47 CEST 2009

On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 16:59:12 +0100, jfager <jfager at> wrote:

> It's the configuration problem.  Right now you would use something
> like ConfigParser or optparse to populate some configuration object,
> which you would then pass around and extract values from.  This would
> provide two advantages over these approaches:  it would separate "what
> can be configured" from "the mechanism by which it is configured" -
> i.e., I, programmer, don't have to make a decision about what the end
> user has to do to give me those values.

This would be a interesting idea, but ultimately no more than a veneer
over the current set of configuration possibilities.  Quite how such a
system would tell whether to get configuration data from command line
parameters, a config file somewhere, or just pull bytes off the Z-wave
 from Mars, I'm not at all clear.

>  And it would allow the
> configurable surface of the program to be discoverable; I wouldn't
> have to poke through code or documentation that was maintained
> separate from the source code.

Except that you still do.  You've just specified a different way in
which you have to do this, one that's a good deal less visible in
the code and a lot less self-documenting because it's spread out all
over the place.  It also has the major disadvantage from my point of
view of requiring Python to do magic in the background to figure out
just what is being configured.

Rhodri James *-* Wildebeeste Herder to the Masses

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