[Tutor] Sort of database & "family tree" question

A.T.Hofkamp a.t.hofkamp at tue.nl
Mon Jan 26 15:36:12 CET 2009

Timo wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm writing an application that stores people with some info. I'm doing 
> this with ConfigParser and it works, but currently (for testing), there 
> are only 10 persons in it. What if I add, let's say, about 500-600 or 
> even more? Is this still a good choice?

Last week, I created a 31MB ConfigParser file with 1 section and 7 or 8 
key/value pairs (the values were a bit long-ish).
Constructing it and writing it to disk took about 50 seconds.

I don't expect that 600 people will give you that much data.

Before you start optimizing the data format, I'd suggest you first check 
whether you have a problem in the first place. Generate 1000 or 2000 (or 5000 
or more!) entries with a small program, try loading the file, and see what 

> So my entry's look like this (more or less ;)):
> [person1]
> firstName = foo
> lastName = bar
> father = person2
> mother = person3

Imho the BIG advantage of ConfigParser over just about any other format is 
that it is simple, human-readable, and human-editable.

That makes it an ideal format for development.

If the relations you want to express in the data fit in the format, then I'd 
stick with ConfigParser format until I encounter serious problems.

If you do encounter serious problems somewhere in the future, you can decide 
at that moment what to do (you'd make a better informed choice at that time 
too), and convert your data to a better format then.


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