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From Alex Blewitt <>
Subject Re: One True Way (TM) of handling configuration files
Date Fri, 08 Aug 2003 20:41:52 GMT

On Friday, Aug 8, 2003, at 19:11 Europe/London, Erin Mulder wrote:

> Alex Blewitt wrote:
>>>  From an administrator's PoV, it would be nicer if all configuration
>>> could be done via an admin console, and for the repository to be 
>>> stored
>>> in a not-necessarily-human-readable form which was updated as the 
>>> config
>>> was changed via the admin console (e.g. Web app)
> Robert Responded
>> While this may be a matter of some personal preference, I tend to like
>> config files over an admin cosole/webapp. Being able to
>> administer/maintain via a command line is imporant to me.
> I am all in favor of a good admin console, but everything should still 
> be
> accessible through XML config files and the command line.

Why should everything be accessible through XML config files? You state 
that it must be so without really saying why it would be good.

Certainly, being able to upload/download an XML representation of the 
config may be desirable (for compatibility/backup/global changes) -- 
but that doesn't mean that everything needs to be stored as one single 
(or multiple) XML documents.

Similarly, command line tools can still be used, regardless of what the 
config is stored in. It's just a case of providing the necessary 
interface to it.

But hey -- why not use GUI admin? You could even have an Admin plug-in 
in Eclipse (for example).

> One of the most common complaints about Websphere (4.x at least) is 
> the way
> it obfuscates all the configuration files.  GUI tools are great for
> administration of shared servers, but not for development.   I want a 
> good
> record of any configuration changes I make and an easy, legible way to 
> share
> them with other developers (see the "User Friendliness" thread).

I think this makes an excellent point:
o GUI tools are better for administrators
o Developers like files

Which are we developing ApacheJ2EE for? My notion was that a red-hot 
J2EE server that would be easy to administrate.

Developers may be able to use a different viewpoint, esp. because 
there's usually just one of them per machine. But let's also consider 
the runtime management as well.

Note that the suggestion of using a JNDI server to store all config is 
compatible with both, because the JNDI server could be backed by an XML 
file (for example).


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