[ntp:hackers] Re: Config file format

David L. Mills mills at udel.edu
Mon Feb 21 17:40:21 PST 2005


STOP! You get to change the syntax, but at least for now you don't get 
to change the semantics. I'm not about to rewrite major portions of the 
documentation. I expect the lexical names to stay the same. I expect 
some syntax change so that subcommands can take optional arguments. I 
expect the commands will not depend on ordering. I expect commands can 
be nested and I like the gated syntax.


Paul Vixie wrote:

>>>So if we forget how the config gets to the daemon for a moment and look
>>>at the file format - what's the collective wisdom on my suggestion to
>>>use the same syntax as isc dhcpd?  
>i'd like to add some history here.  isc dhcpd's config syntax was loosely
>patterned after bind8/bind9's, which was loosely patterned after gated's.
>(i had been a long time user of gated at the time i designed bind8's config,
>and the author of isc dhcpd thought that bind8's config style was an isc
>company guideline, which it wasn't at the time but now sort-of-is.)  i note
>with some amusement that noone inside of juniper or outside knows whether
>the junos config language was patterned after gated, bind8, or isc dhcp.
>>Can I make a pitch here ?
>>I'm very much in favour of config files and interactive tools using
>>the same commands, sort of the way cisco routers do it.
>this is also how decnet NCL worked.  it has some positive aspects to it,
>but it's still order-dependent, and making changes by prefacing a command
>with "NO" (to get rid of the old one) and then entering a new one and
>hoping that your context is correct... blows.
>>Being consistent this way is much easier for the administrator and
>>requires a lot less documentation.  Today we have three different
>>syntax'es for "use this NTP server", one for ntp.conf, one for ntpq(8)
>>and one for ntpdc(8).
>>The hierarchy style of config files (like named and dhcpd) doesn't
>>lend itself easily to such a concept, but is the only way to sensibly
>>handle configuration files which are thousands of lines long.
>>On the other hand, the average ntpd config file is less than 10
>>lines long, so we should not need to put a big and complex hierarchy
>>on it.
>on a juniper, the command language can incrementally edit the config, but
>the config can also be uploaded and downloaded, which is good for rancid.
>i havn't tasted anything else that's nearly as good.  i wish bind worked
>this way, and someday i hope that it will.

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