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From David Jencks <>
Subject Re: Property substitution in config.xml implemented
Date Mon, 05 Mar 2007 19:11:12 GMT

On Mar 5, 2007, at 1:26 PM, Ted Kirby wrote:
>> <snip> One question I have is whether it's really a good idea to use
>> > environment variables for substitutions.  I really don't know and
>> > would appreciate more informed opinions.
>> >
>> > Also, you can specify an alternate properties file on the command
>> > line with
>> >
>> > java - 
> Should we consider a naming convention?  I find
> org.apache.geronimo.config.substitutions.file to be long, but I do
> like the name space qualification that org.apache.geronimo provides.
> Perhaps oag. could be used for short?
> I would like to see some way to have a separate name space for system
> properties/variables, like your portOffset above, and those that users
> might use and define.  For example, we could say that ag properties
> like portOffset and those you will use to parameterize the config.xml
> we ship, be prefixed by _.  Users would not have to worry about  a
> naming collision if any variable name they use does not start with _.
> I like the example of using a system property to override or provide a
> value.  The other ag system properties are prefixed by
> org.apache.geronimo.  (See my earlier comment.)  Doing that in
> config.xml, while long-winded, does provide name space isolation.
> Perhaps not using org.apache.geronimo implies the variable only
> applies to config.xml substitution, and has no other
> interpretation/usage inside the server java code.

Although for different reasons, I like the idea of a namespace prefix  
for environment variables and system properties.  I have been very  
worried that someone is going to have an env var httpPort for some  
other purpose and be rather surprised when it changes geronimo  
behavior.  I'm not really worried about the length of these property  
names.  I don't think including the prefix in config.xml serves any  

So, I'd propose that the local attribute manager looks for system  
properties and env vars starting with


and when found strip off the prefix and use the remainder as the  
property name.

At the moment I don't see the value in trying to distinguish kinds of  
substitution variables and having a naming convention for the  
different kinds.  All the variables can be specified in the  
properties file, as an env var, or as a system property, and I think  
it really depends on your use case whether you are more likely to  
override httpPort or portOffset on the command line.

A further enhancement I thought of that I think I'd rather not pursue  
at this time is to allow specifying the artifactId part of the module  
name in the key.  I think this is too complicated for the value added.

david jencks

> Ted Kirby
>> > Many thanks to ted for coming up with the original patch and  
>> pushing
>> > for it.
>> >
>> > thanks
>> > david jencks
>> >
>> >

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