Improving <setenv>

Neven Has haski at sezampro.yu
Tue Mar 19 08:57:41 PST 2002

On Tue, Mar 19, 2002 at 02:21:35PM +0000, Mark Ellis wrote:
> >     <setenv variable1="value1" variable2="value2">
> >         <!-- Whatever needs variables set. -->
> >     </setenv>
> I kinda like the idea, but foresee a few problems. Firstly, you could 
> never validate this through a DTD, ever, unless you had a DTD with all 
> the variables you could ever want as attributes.

Hm, true. Well, not so much because of DTD validation, it's probably
not a very good thing in general for attribute _names_ to be just
about anything.

> On an aesthetic note, 
> do we want more "nesting" elements than we already have ?

I agree that we have a lot of those already, but to me, for something like
<setenv>, nesting seems like the only solution.
It feels somehow natural too. :)

> As an alternative to another nesting element, we could put env settings 
> on the current nesting elements, maybe, probably makes little 
> difference.

The same as with <su> and "user" (as I said in another mail), I think
that doing that would limit us a lot. If we ever start wanting to use
this for some elements outside <package> or <chroot> or some other
nesting element, we wouldn't be able to.

> As to the validation problem, the only thing that springs 
> to mind is to have one "env" attribute that contained a string of 
> 'variable=value' s, separated by something you are certain will not 
> appear in the strings themselves.

It's an option, but IMHO not very nice.

Something "in the spirit of XML" ;) would probably be:


        <configure/> <!-- Whatever... -->

but I'm afraid to even suggest that, since it's introducing yet
another depth level.

And the above without <variable> and <body> would have the same problem
we're trying to avoid with <package> now, by putting <name> and <version>
under <info>.

And if we only remove <body>, we would again stay with "naked" elements. :)

> Would this then clear the environment space and put only these in, or 
> add
> them to the current space ?

There is <setenv mode="append"> implemented in nALFS from few versions ago.
That seems like a good solution, if I'm understanding you correctly?


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