Most Pythonic way to store (small) configuration

Grant Edwards invalid at invalid.invalid
Wed Aug 5 16:00:02 CEST 2015


On 2015-08-05, Michael Torrie <torriem at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 08/04/2015 01:59 PM, Ben Finney wrote:
>> marco.nawijn at colosso.nl writes:
>> 
>>> Why not use Python files itself as configuration files?
>> 
>> Because configuration data will be user-editable. (If it's not
>> user-editable, that is itself a poor design choice.)
>> 
>> If you allow executable code to be user-edited, that opens your program
>> to arbitrary injection of executable code. Your program becomes wide
>> open for security exploits, whether through malicious or accidental
>> bugs, and simple human error can lead to arbitrary-scope damage to the
>> user's system.
>
> We need to state the context here.  The only context in which having a
> Python config file is dangerous is when the python program runs as a
> different user/privilege than the owner of the config file.  If the user
> owns the python files as well as the config file then none of this matters.

Yes, it does.

We're not just talking about intentional, malicious damange, we're
also talking about _accidental_ damage caused by an incorrect edit of
a configuration files.

It's much harder to cause damage by mis-editing an "ini" format file
that's parsed with the config file library than it is by mis-editing a
Python file that's imported.

-- 
Grant Edwards               grant.b.edwards        Yow! Clear the laundromat!!
                                  at               This whirl-o-matic just had
                              gmail.com            a nuclear meltdown!!


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