Re: [Evolution] Issue with formatting of gconf files.

On Fri, 2011-02-04 at 09:30 +0000, Pete Biggs wrote:
    HTML code is bad to begin with due to its fundamental formatting, but
leaving out linefeeds, tabs, and spaces just makes it worse.  Would you
like reading a book with no punctuation, no paragraphs, and lack of
structure?  Yet I see lots of that kind of documentation, and even more
code like that.  This is not furthering the profession, nor is it

With that said, here is a snippet from the gconf stuff for evolution:

Directly from the file:

DON'T PLAY WITH THE GCONF FILES.  They are NOT meant for human
consumption.  They are machine readable XML files formatted in a way
that is most convenient for a machine to read. The only reason
the .gconf hierarchy exists is as a dump of the current config between
sessions & the only reason they are text based XML is that it is an
extensible standard that is easily parsable. It matters not one jot to
the machine if there are line breaks or tabs in the XML to make it look
pretty - all it does is to take up extra space.

How many of you can read and understand this bit of code?

My gconfd can and that's all that matters.  They are NOT text config
files like /etc/yum.conf.

I especially dislike the ########## ##### # localhost localdomain

It's not a file name, it's a UID - the clue is in the bit before it
which says "uid=".  It's a unique identifier for, in this case, a group

  This has no significance to the job being accomplished.  As
much as I rail against "self documenting code", this is just beyond
useless.  It smacks of trying to use obfuscation for security, which has
been proven over and over to not aid security.  Other than that it has
no value, no significance and adds no real value to the process being

Since these are uids are never externalised by the program, there is no
significance, or value, in giving it a human readable name.

But putting an entire page of a book of code in one line is
unforgivable.  I write converters between systems, changing hardware,
software platforms and instrument capabilities.  I would be embarrassed
to show something like this to one of my customers, moreover it would
probably result in my never being hired again.

The fact that you seem not to grasp the usage or significance of Gconf
and are willing to indulge in a rant without researching what you are
ranting about would make me very worried if I were one of your

    Cleaned up just a bit, the use of the code becomes clearer.  But it
also uses two forms of HTML controls, both the <header>...</header> and
the <header />.  Both are of course legal and useful in some contexts,
but it is usually preferable to maintain consistency.

IT'S NOT HTML.  Not everything that has <..> in it is HTML.  And both
those contructs you mention are used consistently AND properly in the
XML snippet you are quoting.

If you read all the way to here, thank you.  If you disagree, that is
OK, but remember that one day you will have to support code written in
one block that is over 3000 characters long (I have already seen that on
some web pages.)

It's NOT code either - it's XML.  It's a data description language.


XML means eXtended Meta Language.  It is a programming language with
structure and meaning, and it is extensible.  You can call it a data
description language, and that means it standardizes the representation
of information. It is a coding language for the representation of data.

And it is still garbage when it is presented like garbage.  Yes, I can
figure it out, I can even hand edit it, but not with the pathetic tools
offered, and moreover it is NOT a calendar.

Les H

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