Re: [htdig] Re: config file (was pdf parser: No error;)

Gilles Detillieux (
Tue, 23 Feb 1999 10:14:31 -0600 (CST)

According to Geoff Hutchison:
> On Mon, 22 Feb 1999, Joe R. Jah wrote:
> > As a side note, I think it would be very helpful to have the sample config
> > file have the entire options present as default, perhaps with a short
> > comment.
> Hmm. How about calling it "defaults.conf" and instead of a short comment
> for each line, a reference to the documentation at the top? This would be
> easier to maintain since it could be generated by script from the defaults
> source file.
> Thoughts?

I think that in general, it's a bad idea to put all configuration
attributes into the user's configuration file. There are two reasons
for this. First of all, it's an overwhelming set of attributes for any
user just getting started. What's in the default htdig.conf file now
is a reasonable starting point, and it's easy enough to add new ones,
once you get familiar with the documentation.

Secondly, once a user adopts a given set of attributes in the
configuration file, and customises it for his or her site, that set of
attributes becomes essentially cast in stone. When upgrading to a more
recent version of ht://Dig, most users will tend to keep their current
configuration file as-is. Just think, if instead of a small handful of
users complaining about their pdf_parser attribute no longer working,
every user on the list had that problem. I think that for typical users
(and I hope I'm not presumptuous to count myself in their numbers),
it's better to configure just the attributes you want to change from
the default, and essentially go with the flow for the others, allowing
the software (and its developers) to choose reasonable defaults for the
typical site. That's my preference, anyway, and was so even before I
joined the development team.

Gilles R. Detillieux              E-mail: <>
Spinal Cord Research Centre       WWW:
Dept. Physiology, U. of Manitoba  Phone:  (204)789-3766
Winnipeg, MB  R3E 3J7  (Canada)   Fax:    (204)789-3930
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Fri Feb 26 1999 - 14:34:12 PST