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From Bertrand Mansion <>
Subject Re: Some ramblings on httpd config
Date Wed, 03 Jun 2009 20:35:13 GMT
On Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 9:47 PM, Jorge Schrauwen
<> wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 9:07 PM, Akins, Brian <> wrote:
>> On 6/3/09 2:45 PM, "Jorge Schrauwen" <> wrote:
>>> I have to admit lua would be more flexible but I think most server
>>> admins have atleast come into contact with XML... while not
>>> necessarily the case with lua.
>> XML with conditionals. Please, make it stop...
>> I think we are going to have to choose one way (the current way, lua,
>> something else) and just go with it.
>> Nice thing about lua is that the configuration is the runtime "script."
>> There is no external and internal representation of things. (Well, not
>> exactly, but close...).  Lua is fast enough to just run every request - most
>> of the "hard" stuff is still in C.
> I think going with a language "X" based config system will just give
> us more horrible questions and make it even harder to trouble shoot
> things like request X works but request Y doesn't.
> You might as well provide a building block method and the config c
> based, will scare off the more casual users just like lua and only
> allow the oncs who know what they are doing write a decent
> configuration. (ok that last one is maybe a bit over exaggerated but
> going pure program language based is a very big learn before usage
> curve)

Lua is already used exclusively as a configuration language in many
different softwares.
It was actually first designed to be a configuration language and it
was very successful in this area.

"...To make a long story short, yes, we did develop Lua to solve a
particular problem. Although we developed Lua in an academic
institution, Lua was never an "academic language", that is, a language
to write papers about. We needed an easy-to-use configuration
language, and the only configuration language available at that time
(1993) was Tcl. Our users did not consider Tcl an easy-to-use
language. So we created our own configuration language..."

Lua can look like this :

DocumentRoot = "/htdocs"
ServerName = ""
VirtualHosts = {
  "" = { DocumentRoot = "/" }

It doesn't have to look like code. If you don't want to learn
programming, you don't have to because Lua code can look like a
configuration. I think that the current Apache conf style could be
easily converted into Lua syntax without having to rely on anything
too fancy for non-programmers.

But if you need power, then Lua probably offers the cleanest and
fastest available in scripting languages. So you can get the best of
both worlds :)

Bertrand Mansion

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