INN config file parsing infrastructure

Fabien Tassin fta at
Sun May 7 20:25:56 UTC 2000

According to Olaf Titz:

> > The number of files is not a problem. Netscape did the job "quite" well
> > with its FastTrack(?) product based on INN 1.4x, and with Collabra later
> > (I've never used these products in production but I think they filled
> > a niche at this time and IMO it's still the case).
> Do they look like the Netscape Enterprise server config? When I first
> saw that it looked to me mostly like a demo what you can do with HTML
> forms. ;-P
> The problem is not the number of files but the number of configuration
> items, and the fact that most of them are tables/lists which tend to
> get long. (And the rest are mostly inn.conf options nobody
> understands...)
> For a truly minimum server config aimed at a leaf node, you would have
> to configure approx. the following:
> 1. Essential: host name, mail addresses, path names; incoming, readers,
>    part of newsfeeds.
> 2. Look if the default is OK: expire, moderators, nntpsend.ctl and probably
>    most stuff from inn.conf.
> 3. Optional: control.ctl, nnrpd.track, passwd.nntp etc.
> 4. Junk: actsync, distrib.pats, motd, news2mail, nnrpd.track,
>    overview.fmt.
>    (These are files which should go away and be replaced with
>    something sensible anyway.)
> I'm not saying it is not doable, but it is perhaps the incentive to do
> a long needed overhaul of _all_ of INNs configuration, with sorting by
> importance in mind.

I agree.. but IMHO, that's the goal. I've started this "UI" thread just
to be sure that we (currently, Russ) are not going in a wrong direction.
Having a common syntax for all our conf files is a good thing but if 
this syntax is also machine managable, it is definitly better.
> > At my previous jobs, we were using our own Web based interface (I was not
> > the author) to manage all our feeds (INN + Diablo).. all Oleane peers
> > (should) know the "delegate" part of this interface.. (some are here).
> > Well, all this to prove that it's "doable".
> How much of the INN configuration was done that way? I suspect most
> items which rarely change at all were not included (surely not the
> ones I put under "junk", but that's the least worry).

mainly your "Essential" list (the goal was only to delegate feeds and readers
management to the production team. All non-classical manipulations was made
by our engineering team)... well, but it was only Oleane needs ;)

> > > like control.ctl can be sensibly GUIized without turning the GUI into
> > > a glorified text editor, but I also don't see a way of getting rid of it.
> >
> > control.ctl can also be GUIfied. It's quite similar to what has been done
> > with mailcap+mime.types converted in various application helpers.
> As I said - the GUI has turned into not much more than a text editor.

I disagree but I can understand your arguments. With only a Web navigator,
it's hard to make powerful UI without turning into a text editor.

> The advantage over a real text editor is that this avoids syntax
> errors, but it doesn't get much easier to set up than a text file.
> It gets worse when you want to C&P.

error checking is definitly valuable.. even without a GUI.

Fabien Tassin -+- fta at

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