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From Joseph Bridgewater <>
Subject Re: FW: general/3563: I want to allow the definition and use of macros within runtime configuration files.
Date Tue, 22 Dec 1998 21:30:24 GMT
If some people want pre-processing to be performed to come up with a
resultant config file before Apache loads it's config file, why not just
run some external command - whatever suits your fancy - to do whatever
pleases you to generate standard Apache config files just before executing

It isn't always possible to invoke an external program prior to running
Apache such as in the case of starting Apache as an NT service.  Perhaps
Apache could simply be modified to optionally run (an) external command(s)
just prior to loading the config file(s)?  

It might be tricky to tell Apache what (the) command(s) is/are since at
that time, by definition, there is no configuration. A potential solution
that should be convenient to all platforms might be a simple text file
could contain (the) command(s) that is/are to be passed up to the command
processor.  The file could be required to have a particular name such as
GenConf.txt or a like name that is designed to be convenient for all
platforms (it is extremely inconvenient to win32 platforms when a file has
no extension, and .txt is very easy to use).  The file could be required to
be located in the same directory where the Apache executable was.  If a
person doesn't want any pre-processing, that file could be either
non-existent or just empty.  For new installations, perhaps there should be
an empty file there by default to help them be fully clued-in.  It might be
nice if such a file support comments.

This doesn't explicitly help somebody who wants to do _no_ programming
outside of (non-existent) Apache config macros, but it does provide
everybody a simple and powerful option.

Perhaps there are security concerns about having a file with external
commands that will be run when Apache starts?

At 07:48 PM 12/22/98 +0100, Fabien COELHO wrote:
>> The problem I'd see w/ integrated macros is that they'd mean that existing
>> Apache configurations became more complicated (add another set of ways of
>> doing things).  Going forward with a new system, there'd be some presure
>> to maintain compatibility with the old systems -- and adding macros means
>> much more might be needed to support them. 
>I don't think that macro processing is that a big deal.
>When you'll have a new system that solve my little maintenance copy-paste
>problems I'll sure be really happy to use it. But I'm looking for a
>good "solution" *now*, not for a perfect "abstraction" to come *some* day.
>> I believe there's at least one group working on a GUI for Apache
>> administration...
>What Graphical-UI has to do with it? 
>I'm happy with text configuration files, I'm even happy with the html-like
>syntax. I just want to reduce their size and improve their readability,
>not at the price of perl or python programming. My GUI is emacs and its
>okay, provided that I avoid copy-pasting all the time.

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