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Re: [Python-checkins] CVS: python/dist/src/Lib ConfigParser.py,1.16,1.17

 

 

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gstein at lyra

Mar 3, 2000, 4:09 PM

Post #1 of 11 (401 views)
Permalink
Re: [Python-checkins] CVS: python/dist/src/Lib ConfigParser.py,1.16,1.17

You may as well remove the entire "vi" concept from ConfigParser. Since
"vi" can be *only* a '=' or ':', then you aren't truly checking anything
in the "if" statement. Further, "vi" is used nowhere else, so that
variable and the corresponding regex group can be nuked altogether.

IMO, I'm not sure why the ";" comment form was initially restricted to
just one option format in the first place.

Cheers,
-g

On Fri, 3 Mar 2000, Jeremy Hylton wrote:
> Update of /projects/cvsroot/python/dist/src/Lib
> In directory bitdiddle:/home/jhylton/python/src/Lib
>
> Modified Files:
> ConfigParser.py
> Log Message:
> allow comments beginning with ; in key: value as well as key = value
>
>
> Index: ConfigParser.py
> ===================================================================
> RCS file: /projects/cvsroot/python/dist/src/Lib/ConfigParser.py,v
> retrieving revision 1.16
> retrieving revision 1.17
> diff -C2 -r1.16 -r1.17
> *** ConfigParser.py 2000/02/28 23:23:55 1.16
> --- ConfigParser.py 2000/03/03 20:43:57 1.17
> ***************
> *** 359,363 ****
> optname, vi, optval = mo.group('option', 'vi', 'value')
> optname = string.lower(optname)
> ! if vi == '=' and ';' in optval:
> # ';' is a comment delimiter only if it follows
> # a spacing character
> --- 359,363 ----
> optname, vi, optval = mo.group('option', 'vi', 'value')
> optname = string.lower(optname)
> ! if vi in ('=', ':') and ';' in optval:
> # ';' is a comment delimiter only if it follows
> # a spacing character
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Python-checkins mailing list
> Python-checkins [at] python
> http://www.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-checkins
>

--
Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/


jeremy at cnri

Mar 3, 2000, 4:15 PM

Post #2 of 11 (399 views)
Permalink
Re: [Python-checkins] CVS: python/dist/src/Lib ConfigParser.py,1.16,1.17 [In reply to]

Thanks for catching that. I didn't look at the context. I'm going to
wait, though, until I talk to Fred to mess with the code any more.

General question for python-dev readers: What are your experiences
with ConfigParser? I just used it to build a simple config parser for
IDLE and found it hard to use for several reasons. The biggest
problem was that the file format is undocumented. I also found it
clumsy to have to specify section and option arguments. I ended up
writing a proxy that specializes on section so that get takes only an
option argument.

It sounds like ConfigParser code and docs could use a general cleanup.
Are there any other issues to take care of as part of that cleanup?

Jeremy


moshez at math

Mar 4, 2000, 2:50 AM

Post #3 of 11 (400 views)
Permalink
Re: Re: [Python-checkins] CVS: python/dist/src/Lib ConfigParser.py,1.16,1.17 [In reply to]

On Fri, 3 Mar 2000, Jeremy Hylton wrote:

> It sounds like ConfigParser code and docs could use a general cleanup.
> Are there any other issues to take care of as part of that cleanup?

One thing that bothered me once:

I want to be able to have something like:

[section]
tag = 1
tag = 2

And be able to retrieve ("section", "tag") -> ["1", "2"].
Can be awfully useful for things that make sense several time.
Perhaps there should be two functions, one that reads a single-tag and
one that reads a multi-tag?

File format: I'm sure I'm going to get yelled at, but why don't we
make it XML? Hard to edit, yadda, yadda, but you can easily write a
special purpose widget to edit XConfig (that's what we'll call the DTD)
files.

hopefull-yet-not-naive-ly y'rs, Z.
--
Moshe Zadka <mzadka [at] geocities>.
http://www.oreilly.com/news/prescod_0300.html


gstein at lyra

Mar 4, 2000, 3:05 AM

Post #4 of 11 (401 views)
Permalink
Re: CVS: python/dist/src/Lib ConfigParser.py,1.16,1.17 [In reply to]

On Sat, 4 Mar 2000, Moshe Zadka wrote:
> On Fri, 3 Mar 2000, Jeremy Hylton wrote:
> > It sounds like ConfigParser code and docs could use a general cleanup.
> > Are there any other issues to take care of as part of that cleanup?
>
> One thing that bothered me once:
>
> I want to be able to have something like:
>
> [section]
> tag = 1
> tag = 2
>
> And be able to retrieve ("section", "tag") -> ["1", "2"].
> Can be awfully useful for things that make sense several time.
> Perhaps there should be two functions, one that reads a single-tag and
> one that reads a multi-tag?

Structured values would be nice. Several times, I've needed to decompose
the right hand side into lists.

> File format: I'm sure I'm going to get yelled at, but why don't we
> make it XML? Hard to edit, yadda, yadda, but you can easily write a
> special purpose widget to edit XConfig (that's what we'll call the DTD)
> files.

Write a whole new module. ConfigParser is for files that look like the
above.

There isn't a reason to NOT use XML, but it shouldn't go into
ConfigParser.

<IMO>
I find the above style much easier for *humans*, than an XML file, to
specify options. XML is good for computers; not so good for humans.
</IMO>

Cheers,
-g

--
Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/


moshez at math

Mar 4, 2000, 4:29 AM

Post #5 of 11 (398 views)
Permalink
Re: CVS: python/dist/src/Lib ConfigParser.py,1.16,1.17 [In reply to]

On Sat, 4 Mar 2000, Greg Stein wrote:

> Write a whole new module. ConfigParser is for files that look like the
> above.

Gotcha.

One problem: two configurations modules might cause the classic "which
should I use?" confusion.

> <IMO>
> I find the above style much easier for *humans*, than an XML file, to
> specify options. XML is good for computers; not so good for humans.
> </IMO>

Of course: what human could delimit his text with <tag> and </tag>?

oh-no-another-c.l.py-bot-ly y'rs, Z.
--
Moshe Zadka <mzadka [at] geocities>.
http://www.oreilly.com/news/prescod_0300.html


gstein at lyra

Mar 4, 2000, 4:43 AM

Post #6 of 11 (402 views)
Permalink
Re: CVS: python/dist/src/Lib ConfigParser.py,1.16,1.17 [In reply to]

On Sat, 4 Mar 2000, Moshe Zadka wrote:
> On Sat, 4 Mar 2000, Greg Stein wrote:
> > Write a whole new module. ConfigParser is for files that look like the
> > above.
>
> Gotcha.
>
> One problem: two configurations modules might cause the classic "which
> should I use?" confusion.

Nah. They wouldn't *both* be called ConfigParser. And besides, I see the
XML format more as a persistence mechanism rather than a configuration
mechanism. I'd call the module something like "XMLPersist".

> > <IMO>
> > I find the above style much easier for *humans*, than an XML file, to
> > specify options. XML is good for computers; not so good for humans.
> > </IMO>
>
> Of course: what human could delimit his text with <tag> and </tag>?

Feh. As a communciation mechanism, dropping in that stuff... it's easy.

<appository>But</appository><comma/><noun>I</noun>
<verb><tense>would<modifier>not</modifier></tense>want</verb> ... bleck.

I wouldn't want to use XML for configuration stuff. It just gets ugly.

Cheers,
-g

--
Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/


jeremy at cnri

Mar 4, 2000, 7:10 PM

Post #7 of 11 (397 views)
Permalink
Re: CVS: python/dist/src/Lib ConfigParser.py,1.16,1.17 [In reply to]

>>>>> "MZ" == Moshe Zadka <moshez [at] math> writes:

MZ> On Sat, 4 Mar 2000, Greg Stein wrote:
>> Write a whole new module. ConfigParser is for files that look
>> like the above.

MZ> Gotcha.

MZ> One problem: two configurations modules might cause the classic
MZ> "which should I use?" confusion.

I don't think this is a hard decision to make. ConfigParser is good
for simple config files that are going to be maintained by humans with

a text editor.

An XML-based configuration file is probably the right solution when
humans aren't going to maintain the config files by hand. Perhaps XML
will eventually be the right solution in both cases, but only if XML
editors are widely available.

>> <IMO> I find the above style much easier for *humans*, than an
>> XML file, to specify options. XML is good for computers; not so
>> good for humans. </IMO>

MZ> Of course: what human could delimit his text with <tag> and
MZ> </tag>?

Could? I'm sure there are more ways on Linux and Windows to mark up
text than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Moshe <wink>. The
question is what is easiest to read and understand?

Jeremy


fdrake at acm

Mar 4, 2000, 8:55 PM

Post #8 of 11 (401 views)
Permalink
Re: Re: [Python-checkins] CVS: python/dist/src/Lib ConfigParser.py,1.16,1.17 [In reply to]

Jeremy Hylton writes:
> Thanks for catching that. I didn't look at the context. I'm going to
> wait, though, until I talk to Fred to mess with the code any more.

I did it that way since the .ini format allows comments after values
(the ';' comments after a '=' vi; '#' comments are a ConfigParser
thing), but there's no equivalent concept for RFC822 parsing, other
than '(...)' in addresses. The code was trying to allow what was
expected from the .ini crowd without breaking the "native" use of
ConfigParser.

> General question for python-dev readers: What are your experiences
> with ConfigParser? I just used it to build a simple config parser for
> IDLE and found it hard to use for several reasons. The biggest
> problem was that the file format is undocumented. I also found it
> clumsy to have to specify section and option arguments. I ended up
> writing a proxy that specializes on section so that get takes only an
> option argument.
>
> It sounds like ConfigParser code and docs could use a general cleanup.
> Are there any other issues to take care of as part of that cleanup?

I agree that the API to ConfigParser sucks, and I think also that
the use of it as a general solution is a big mistake. It's a messy
bit of code that doesn't need to be, supports a really nasty mix of
syntaxes, and can easily bite users who think they're getting
something .ini-like (the magic names and interpolation is a bad
idea!). While it suited the original application well enough,
something with .ini syntax and interpolation from a subclass would
have been *much* better.
I think we should create a new module, inilib, that implements
exactly .ini syntax in a base class that can be intelligently
extended. ConfigParser should be deprecated.


-Fred

--
Fred L. Drake, Jr. <fdrake at acm.org>
Corporation for National Research Initiatives


guido at python

Mar 5, 2000, 5:04 AM

Post #9 of 11 (402 views)
Permalink
Re: Re: [Python-checkins] CVS: python/dist/src/Lib ConfigParser.py,1.16,1.17 [In reply to]

[Fred]
> I agree that the API to ConfigParser sucks, and I think also that
> the use of it as a general solution is a big mistake. It's a messy
> bit of code that doesn't need to be, supports a really nasty mix of
> syntaxes, and can easily bite users who think they're getting
> something .ini-like (the magic names and interpolation is a bad
> idea!). While it suited the original application well enough,
> something with .ini syntax and interpolation from a subclass would
> have been *much* better.
> I think we should create a new module, inilib, that implements
> exactly .ini syntax in a base class that can be intelligently
> extended. ConfigParser should be deprecated.

Amen.

Some thoughts:

- You could put it all in ConfigParser.py but with new classnames.
(Not sure though, since the ConfigParser class, which is really a
kind of weird variant, will be assumed to be the main class because
its name is that of the module.)

- Variants on the syntax could be given through some kind of option
system rather than through subclassing -- they should be combinable
independently. Som possible options (maybe I'm going overboard here)
could be:

- comment characters: ('#', ';', both, others?)
- comments after variables allowed? on sections?
- variable characters: (':', '=', both, others?)
- quoting of values with "..." allowed?
- backslashes in "..." allowed?
- does backslash-newline mean a continuation?
- case sensitivity for section names (default on)
- case sensitivity for option names (default off)
- variables allowed before first section name?
- first section name? (default "main")
- character set allowed in section names
- character set allowed in variable names
- %(...) substitution?

(Well maybe the whole substitution thing should really be done through
a subclass -- it's too weird for normal use.)

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)


fdrake at acm

Mar 6, 2000, 8:09 AM

Post #10 of 11 (399 views)
Permalink
Re: Re: [Python-checkins] CVS: python/dist/src/Lib ConfigParser.py,1.16,1.17 [In reply to]

Guido van Rossum writes:
> - You could put it all in ConfigParser.py but with new classnames.
> (Not sure though, since the ConfigParser class, which is really a
> kind of weird variant, will be assumed to be the main class because
> its name is that of the module.)

The ConfigParser class could be clearly marked as deprecated both in
the source/docstring and in the documentation. But the class itself
should not be used in any way.

> - Variants on the syntax could be given through some kind of option
> system rather than through subclassing -- they should be combinable
> independently. Som possible options (maybe I'm going overboard here)
> could be:

Yes, you are going overboard. It should contain exactly what's
right for .ini files, and that's it.
There are really three aspects to the beast: reading, using, and
writing. I think there should be a class which does the right thing
for using the informatin in the file, and reading & writing can be
handled through functions or helper classes. That separates the
parsing issues from the use issues, and alternate syntaxes will be
easy enough to implement by subclassing the helper or writing a new
function. An "editable" version that allows loading & saving without
throwing away comments, ordering, etc. would require a largely
separate implementation of all three aspects (or at least the reader
and writer).

> (Well maybe the whole substitution thing should really be done through
> a subclass -- it's too weird for normal use.)

That and the ad hoc syntax are my biggest beefs with ConfigParser.
But it can easily be added by a subclass as long as the method to
override is clearly specified in the documenation (it should only
require one!).


-Fred

--
Fred L. Drake, Jr. <fdrake at acm.org>
Corporation for National Research Initiatives


gward at cnri

Mar 7, 2000, 7:04 AM

Post #11 of 11 (402 views)
Permalink
Re: Re: [Python-checkins] CVS: python/dist/src/Lib ConfigParser.py,1.16,1.17 [In reply to]

On 05 March 2000, Guido van Rossum said:
> - Variants on the syntax could be given through some kind of option
> system rather than through subclassing -- they should be combinable
> independently. Som possible options (maybe I'm going overboard here)
> could be:
>
> - comment characters: ('#', ';', both, others?)
> - comments after variables allowed? on sections?
> - variable characters: (':', '=', both, others?)
> - quoting of values with "..." allowed?
> - backslashes in "..." allowed?
> - does backslash-newline mean a continuation?
> - case sensitivity for section names (default on)
> - case sensitivity for option names (default off)
> - variables allowed before first section name?
> - first section name? (default "main")
> - character set allowed in section names
> - character set allowed in variable names
> - %(...) substitution?

I agree with Fred that this level of flexibility is probably overkill
for a config file parser; you don't want every application author who
uses the module to have to explain his particular variant of the syntax.

However, if you're interested in a class that *does* provide some of the
above flexibility, I have written such a beast. It's currently used to
parse the Distutils MANIFEST.in file, and I've considered using it for
the mythical Distutils config files. (And it also gets heavy use in my
day job.) It's really a class for reading a file in preparation for
"text processing the Unix way", though: it doesn't say anything about
syntax, it just worries about blank lines, comments, continuations, and
a few other things. Here's the class docstring:

class TextFile:

"""Provides a file-like object that takes care of all the things you
commonly want to do when processing a text file that has some
line-by-line syntax: strip comments (as long as "#" is your comment
character), skip blank lines, join adjacent lines by escaping the
newline (ie. backslash at end of line), strip leading and/or
trailing whitespace, and collapse internal whitespace. All of these
are optional and independently controllable.

Provides a 'warn()' method so you can generate warning messages that
report physical line number, even if the logical line in question
spans multiple physical lines. Also provides 'unreadline()' for
implementing line-at-a-time lookahead.

Constructor is called as:

TextFile (filename=None, file=None, **options)

It bombs (RuntimeError) if both 'filename' and 'file' are None;
'filename' should be a string, and 'file' a file object (or
something that provides 'readline()' and 'close()' methods). It is
recommended that you supply at least 'filename', so that TextFile
can include it in warning messages. If 'file' is not supplied,
TextFile creates its own using the 'open()' builtin.

The options are all boolean, and affect the value returned by
'readline()':
strip_comments [default: true]
strip from "#" to end-of-line, as well as any whitespace
leading up to the "#" -- unless it is escaped by a backslash
lstrip_ws [default: false]
strip leading whitespace from each line before returning it
rstrip_ws [default: true]
strip trailing whitespace (including line terminator!) from
each line before returning it
skip_blanks [.default: true}
skip lines that are empty *after* stripping comments and
whitespace. (If both lstrip_ws and rstrip_ws are true,
then some lines may consist of solely whitespace: these will
*not* be skipped, even if 'skip_blanks' is true.)
join_lines [default: false]
if a backslash is the last non-newline character on a line
after stripping comments and whitespace, join the following line
to it to form one "logical line"; if N consecutive lines end
with a backslash, then N+1 physical lines will be joined to
form one logical line.
collapse_ws [default: false]
after stripping comments and whitespace and joining physical
lines into logical lines, all internal whitespace (strings of
whitespace surrounded by non-whitespace characters, and not at
the beginning or end of the logical line) will be collapsed
to a single space.

Note that since 'rstrip_ws' can strip the trailing newline, the
semantics of 'readline()' must differ from those of the builtin file
object's 'readline()' method! In particular, 'readline()' returns
None for end-of-file: an empty string might just be a blank line (or
an all-whitespace line), if 'rstrip_ws' is true but 'skip_blanks' is
not."""

Interested in having something like this in the core? Adding more
options is possible, but the code is already on the hairy side to
support all of these. And I'm not a big fan of the subtle difference in
semantics with file objects, but honestly couldn't think of a better way
at the time.

If you're interested, you can download it from

http://www.mems-exchange.org/exchange/software/python/text_file/

or just use the version in the Distutils CVS tree.

Greg

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