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Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 21:37:14 +0400
From: Aleksey Cherepanov <>
Subject: Re: Request for Comments on .conf file .remove [section]

On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 10:59:01AM -0500, jfoug wrote:
> First, I think that only ".remove [section]" is valid.  I do not find
> .remove <file> to be valid in any way.  I do not see how .remove <file>
> could be implemented, nor do I see any usefulness.  If others see benefit,
> please speak up.

If file A includes file B and we want to include file A in our .conf
file but we do not want to include file B then .remove <file> could be
useful. I could not say that to include file A without file B is right
and/or could be needed in real world.

> [List.External:test]
> int curlen, buffer[12], max;
> void init()
> {
>   max=12;
>   curlen=1;
>   buffer[0] = 'A'-1;
> }
> void generate()
> {
>   /* do something here */
> }
> void restore()
> {
>   /* do something here */
> }
> [List.External:test2]
> .include [List.External.test]
> .remove [variable buffer]
> .remove [function init]
> int buffer[16]  /* NOTE, I see a proble here, because the generate() and
> restore() function will now be above this buffer variable! */

Maybe there could be other scoping rules than in C: function could see
other function or global variable even if they are declared in "wrong"

> void init()
> {
>   int i;
>   max=16;
>    curlen=12;
>   for (i = 0; i < 12; ++i) {
>    buffer[i] = 'Z';
>   }
> }

In general it looks for me like inheritance in OO terms. test2
inherits test and overrides its buffer variable and init function.
What if we want to include init function from test and
restore function from test3 (another external) into test2? There could be
different solutions for this. In OOP such behaviour described by OO
model (if I am not wrong). Inheritance seems for me to be too heavy
for John but I hope such view on the problem could be useful.

I think it is possible to use opposite action to select what should be
included. It could look like:
.include [List.External.test:curlen,max,generate,restore]
int buffer[16];
void init() {...}

There could be general selectors for sections. I think they could be
linewise - we list what lines we want to include. In previous mail I
made following example:
"RulesA[0:2] + RulesB + RulesA[2:4]
or may be something more perlish with flexible slices
RulesC[0..5, 9] + RulesD[1, 3, 5]"
So now this idea could be adopted to be something like:
.include [List.External.test[0:10]]
However selecting lines we could not override only buffer variable
because it is declared with other variables on the same line. Also it
is not very comfortable to manipulate line numbers when we could
operate with meaningful objects like variables and functions.

(back to rules combinations topic)
Looking on it I imagined
.include [List.External.test + List.External.test2]
to be shorthand for
.include [List.External.test]
.include [List.External.test2]
But this gives syntax to make other combination type:
.include [List.External.test * List.External.test2]
(back to main topic)

Other way is to override variable or function just with new
declaration without .remove at all. So if variable or function
declared twice then the last declaration is actual.

Aleksey Cherepanov

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